Editor’s note: This release was updated June 21, 2023, to correct the spelling for one of the speaker’s names.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson led a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to showcase a new Earth Information Center at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The center is part physical space and part virtual experience, which shows how NASA data can improve lives in the face of disasters, environmental challenges, and our changing world.
The agency also launched its corresponding Earth Information Center website as part of the event. The ribbon cutting ceremony comes ahead of a public opening of the center Monday, June 26.
Climate change is a key priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, and NASA plays a critical role in providing data to researchers and others through its extensive Earth-monitoring constellation of satellites. For six decades, NASA satellites, sensors, and scientists have collected observations about our home planet – and at the Earth Information Center, the public can glimpse what this data has taught us about sea level rise, air quality, wildfires, greenhouse gases, energy, and agriculture.
“For more than 60 years, NASA has used our vantage point of space to observe Earth with satellites and instruments aboard the International Space Station to collect vital, life-saving data,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “To meet the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of making this data more understandable, accessible, and usable for everyone, NASA is opening the Earth Information Center. From firefighters that rely on NASA data for wildfire management to farmers who need to know when and where to plant crops, the Earth Information Center will help more people make informed decisions every day.”
Whether they live in cities, suburban areas, or on farms, people around the nation can access information to understand our dynamic planet and prepare for impacts of climate change. NASA collects and shares data that can help everyone from coastal including home buyers assessing flood risk; businesses on the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes looking for information on harmful algal blooms; farmers requiring drought and storm information; and county land-use planners assessing wildfire management.
“NASA data powers resources across the U.S. and around the world, helping communities prepare for a changing climate,” said Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor, who emceed the ribbon cutting. “The Earth Information Center benefits humanity by providing easily accessible and readily usable Earth information – helping people see our home planet the way NASA sees it.”
Additional speakers at the event included:
- Karen St. Germain, director, NASA’s Earth Sciences Division
- Dave Applegate, director, USGS (U.S. Geological Survey)
- Janet McCabe, deputy administrator, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Erik Hooks, deputy administrator, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration)
- Michael Morgan, assistant secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Mike Michener, deputy assistant administrator, Bureau of Resilience and Food Security, USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development)
- Marlen Eve, deputy administrator, Agriculture Research Service, USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
- Dwane Roth, Big D Farms, Kansas
NASA created the Earth Information Center with founding partners FEMA, EPA, NOAA, USAID, USDA and USGS. The Earth Information Center draws data from research conducted by NASA’s centers and government and industry partners.
The interactive physical exhibit is located in the east lobby of NASA Headquarters in Washington, where visitors are invited to see Earth as NASA astronauts see it from space. When it opens to the public June 26, visitors can tour the exhibit from 8:30 a.m. EDT to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Learn more about the Earth Information Center at:
Karen Fox / Katherine Rohloff
firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com