New Space Research Initiative Aims Sights Directly at Earth

The Universities Space Research Association is launching the Earth from Space Institute, a new program that aims to identify problems happening on the ground from the sky. And they’re bringing in a former NASA official to lead the initiative.

Most associations are primarily concerned about Earth from a direct vantage point: That is, most of their work is based from the planet, and serves people based on the planet.

But with a new initiative, the Universities Space Research Association  is thinking about things from the outside in. This week, USRA announced the creation of a new subsidiary called the “Earth from Space Institute,” which will  research the planet’s various systems and how they’re affected by change (whether manmade or naturally occurring) from the sky.

“The establishment of the Earth from Space Institute is part of our strategic plan to expand USRA’s research activities in Earth Sciences,” USRA President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Isaacson said in a news release.

Helping lead the charge is a research scientist who knows a lot about studying the earth’s imagery: Dr. Miguel O. Román, a former NASA employee who helped create Black Marble, a system of analysis for nighttime maps that opens up detection opportunities for issues such as power outages.

In his new role at USRA, Román will help collaborate and forge relationships with public and private stakeholders to create partnerships that could help drive solutions to issues like climate change and disaster risk reduction.

“Miguel is at the forefront of what is happening to our planet,” added Dr. Nicholas White, who serves as USRA’s senior vice president of science. “He’s an outstanding scientist whose accomplishments focus on observing our home planet and how it’s changing. We are delighted to have him on board at USRA.”

(blackdovfx/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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