85th AMS Annual Meeting

Wednesday, 12 January 2005: 9:00 AM
Global Earth Observation System (GEOS): System Capabilities and the Role for the US EPA
Walter F. Dabberdt, Vaisala. Inc., Boulder, CO; and J. N. McHenry
In July 2003, the United States hosted the Earth Observation Summitt in Washington, DC (http://www.epa.gov/geoss/index.html). The summit brought together 33 nations plust the European Commission to adopt a declaration that signified a political commitment toward the development of a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained Earth Observation System to collect and disseminate improved data, information, and models to stakeholders and decision-makers. These nations agreed to partner with the US to realize a common goal of establishing an international, comprehensive coordatinated, and sustained Earth Observation System.

Nine months later, in Toyko, Japan, a second summit was held and more than fifty nations formally adopted a ten-year implementation plan for a Global Earth Observation System. This Global Earth Observation System (GEOSS) will help all nations involved produce and manage their information in such a way that benefits the environment as well as humanity. GEOSS is a large cooperative effort to bring together new and existing hardware and software, making it all compatible in order to supply data and information at no cost. The US and developed nations have a unique role in developing and maintaining the system, collecting data, enhancing data distribution, and providing models to help all of the world's nations (htpp://www.epa.gov/geoss/index.html).

On March 9-10, 2004, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened a panel of 14 experts in Research Triangle Park, NC, to discuss and make recommendations pertaining to the proposed GEOSS. The specific charge to the panel was to provide EPA with expert recommendations and guidance concerning opportunities for EPA's participation in GEOSS. Recognizing that other US Federal agencies and other government and non-government organizations will also be contributing to the design and implementation of GEOSS, and further recognizing that many related observing initiatives are already in place, the panel was asked to consider unique contributions that could be made by EPA.

This talk will describe and summarize the recommendations set forth by the panel.

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