Columbia research center forms Earth from Space Institute - Baltimore


Jan. 16, 2019 6:32 pm

Columbia research center forms Earth from Space Institute

The institute within the Universities Space Research Association will be led by Dr. Miguel O. Román, a former NASA scientist.

Dr. Miguel Román at Universities Space Research Association.

(Courtesy photo)

The Columbia-based Universities Space Research Association formed a new institute that’s focusing on our own planet.

The Earth from Space Institute, located within USRA headquarters, aims to conduct research and application studies that are enabled by space-based observational technology and data systems. It aims to advance understanding of the Earth system, and is oriented toward It is oriented toward “serving societal needs to better respond to natural and human-driven changes in the Earth system,” according to USRA.

The Institute will be led by Dr. Miguel O. Román, who previously served as a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. He led development of NASA’s “Black Marble,” a suite of products which provide images of Earth at nighttime and allows for monitoring of power failures during disasters and assessing underserved communities. He also led research to assess evaluate impacts of urban change and monitor long-term effects of disasters on island communities.

“Miguel is at the forefront of what is happening to our planet,” said Dr. Nicholas White, senior vice president for science at the Universities Space Research Association. “He’s an outstanding scientist whose accomplishments focus on observing our home planet and how it’s changing.”

The center will bring together scientists, engineers and other practitioners to develop new products, and look to establish partnerships across space agencies, universities and other organizations. Staff will also embed with government, academia, civil society groups and NGOs. The goal is to create partnerships that can address issues and foster collaboration on environmental issues, USRA states.

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