In 2007, the National Research Council issued its inaugural “decadal survey” of all Earth sciences that could benefit from spaceborne observations (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11820). The next survey, covering a 10-year period starting in late 2017, is again sponsored by NASA, NOAA, and the USGS. Some 100 community members are expected to serve on the survey’s steering committee or one of its study panels, and many more will participate via white paper submissions and outreach events. The survey occurs against a backdrop of both highly constrained budgets and ever-increasing national needs for Earth observations and information products. A key element of the survey will be a canvas of the community for new ideas about missions, programs, and capabilities to advance Earth system science and ensure the nation maintains healthy, robust, and successful research and application programs. Representatives from the survey will be on hand to lead a discussion towards these objectives. For additional information, please contact Art Charo email@example.com.