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NASA research supports environmental management in Mesoamerica
Steve Roy
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)
News Release: H-05-010

Gretchen Cook-Anderson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202.358-0836)

Stephen J. Posivak
U.S. Embassy, Panama
(Phone: 507.207-7000)

NASA scientist and SERVIR project manager Daniel Irwin unveils the NASA-NSSTC laboratory where he and his partners developed the environmental monitoring system. The facility is identical to a new research center NASA will open Thursday in Panama with its partner organizations. NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are joining forces with other U.S. and Central American partners to launch an innovative, Web-based, environmental management system for Central America. On Thursday, the partners will inaugurate this unique regional monitoring system at its home within the CATHALAC facilityin the City of Knowledge, Panama.

What: SERVIR, a Spanish acronym for the Regional Monitoring and Visualization System for Mesoamerica, is a mapping and visualization system that makes intensive use of satellite imagery and other data sources for environmental management and disaster support in Central America. The system enables scientists, educators and policy makers to monitor and forecast ecological changes and respond to disasters such as forest fires, hurricanes, drought, red tides and volcanic eruptions. SERVIR also provides user-friendly, interactive tools freely available online for students and the general public. In addition, SERVIR represents the initial Mesoamerican contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

NASA is supporting the system in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); the World Bank; the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC); the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD); the City of Knowledge, Panama; and Cable & Wireless Panama.

When: The dedication and tour of the facility, including a SERVIR demonstration, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. EST.

Where: The offices of CATHALAC at Edificio 801, Cuidad del Saber (Clayton), Panama

Who: Several NASA officials will attend the dedication, including: Dr. Ghassem Asrar, NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Science; Dr. Tom Sever, SERVIR Principal Investigator; and Daniel Irwin, SERVIR Project Manager. NASA partner officials also will attend, including The Honorable Linda E. Watt, U.S. Ambassador to Panama; Emilio Sempris, Director of CATHALAC; and representatives from USAID, The World Bank, the City of Knowledge and the CCAD.

To Attend: News media interested in covering the event on-site should contact Emilio Sempris at CATHALAC at 507/317-0111 no later than close of business on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

For more information about SERVIR on the Web, visit:

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