83rd Annual

Wednesday, 12 February 2003: 1:45 PM
Use of Earth Observing Satellites for Operational Hazard Support: Current and Emerging Applications
Helen M. Wood, NOAA/NESDIS, Suitland, MD; and L. Lauritson
Poster PDF (219.0 kB)
NOAA's mission to monitor, predict, and assess changes in the Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans relies on Earth observing satellite data. Satellite data are used to help lessen the impacts of natural and technological disasters due to tropical cyclones, flash floods, heavy snowstorms, volcanic ash clouds (for aviation safety), sea ice (for shipping safety), oil spills and harmful algal blooms along U.S. coastlines. NOAA satellites carry communications systems used to support search and rescue and to transmit environmental information from remote data collection platforms to a variety of users. Even now, capabilities are being developed to make use of satellite data for other hazard areas such as earthquakes, solid earth dimensions of volcanic activity, and flood mapping, among others.

This briefing will provide an overview of NOAA's operational use of satellites for hazard support and examples of emerging applications of earth observing satellites to other hazard areas.

About Helen M. Wood:

Helen M. Wood is the Director of the Office of Satellite Data Processing and Distribution in the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where she is responsible for the near-real time collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination of data gathered by Earth observing satellites operated by NOAA and other agencies. This operation aids the protection of lives and property through improved weather and climate forecasting and support for U.S. search and rescue operations. She leads national and international activities aimed at improving the use of Earth observing satellite data for disaster management support. In June 2002 she was appointed by the US Office of Science and Technology Policy to Chair its US Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction.

Previously, Wood was Deputy Director of the Institute for Computer Sciences and Technology in the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (NBS) (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology). She directed research and standards development activities in computer and communications technology and was responsible for assuring the production of those products with the greatest positive impact on U.S. government mission resources.

Wood is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She has held numerous positions in the IEEE including President of the Computer Society, and Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of the IEEE and is a member of the editorial board of the IEEE magazine, Information Technology Professional. She was elected IEEE Engineering Manager of the Year in 1994, and in 1996 received the Computer Society's highest award for distinguished service to the computing profession. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Award of the American National Standards Institute for her leadership and contributions to computing and communications standardization. Wood served on the U.S. National Research Council's Committee on Workforce Needs in Information Technology and is a member of the Steering Committee of the NRC Natural Disasters Roundtable.

She is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals and the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award. She holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Computer Science from The American University.

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