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Students DEVELOP a Virtual Poster Session
DEVELOP student presentations are featured on Earthzine.org in honor of Earth Day.

DEVELOP student presentations are featured on Earthzine.org in honor of Earth Day. Credit: NASA

View the presentations: + Earthzine

DEVELOP team locations for the 2011 spring term.
Click to enlarge

DEVELOP team locations for the 2011 spring term. Credit: NASA

JPL DEVELOP Fall 2010 Team Members Samantha Roth and Eric Burton, part of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill research team. Photo Credit: Katrina Laygo.
Click to enlarge

JPL DEVELOP Fall 2010 Team Members Samantha Roth and Eric Burton, part of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill research team. Photo Credit: NASA/Katrina Laygo

Young researchers at NASA’s DEVELOP internship program are walking the "go green" walk this Earth Day as they present their end-of-term projects online.

Through this virtual poster session, students share their work with a broad audience, while saving valuable natural resources that would have gone into printing and travel for traditional end-of-term presentations.

Earthzine.org, an online publication of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), hosts the virtual presentations, which can be found on the Earthzine site starting Friday, April 22.

The students are supplementing their written reports with videos and animations, just a few of the benefits a virtual space provides that a physical poster session would lack.

The 10 projects featured in the virtual poster session were conducted by DEVELOP students, a NASA Science Mission Directorate Applied Sciences training and development program where students and young professionals conduct Earth science applications projects and are mentored by science advisors from NASA and partner agencies.

The DEVELOP Program demonstrates to community leaders how NASA science measurements and predictions can be used to address local management and policy issues.

"This virtual poster session is a great opportunity for DEVELOP to reach a broad audience and exhibit our teams’ results in a global forum. We want the students to be engaged in meaningful applied science research and share it with communities who can benefit from this information," said Lauren Childs, DEVELOP national science project lead.

The 10 projects represent some of the most pressing issues affecting community leaders around the world. http://www.earthzine.org/develop-spring-2011-virtual-poster-session/ DEVELOP teams researched capabilities of NASA Earth observations to address environmental issues such as air and water quality monitoring, invasive species predictions, vector borne disease analysis and flood modeling.

Students from across the U.S. are afforded internship opportunities nationally by the DEVELOP Program. DEVELOP locations include: NASA's Langley and Ames Research Centers, Hampton, Va. and Moffett Field, Calif.; NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; NASA's Stennis Space Center, Miss.; the Mobile County Health Department, Ala.; NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center – University of Alabama, Birmingham, Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala.; and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Chicago.

"When Lauren Childs approached us last fall about publishing articles about the DEVELOP student projects on Earthzine, we were delighted by the opportunity," said Paul Racette, Earthzine editor-in-chief. "This collaboration provides great content for Earthzine and an opportunity for the students to publish their work."

Earthzine‘s mission is to improve public understanding and awareness of the societal benefits of Earth observation and Earth information in decision-making. Earthzine supports the work of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observation (GEO) and outreach for the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS). Earthzine is supported by professionals, researchers, educators and students from around the world who contribute articles.

Lisa Jo Rudy, Earthzine science editor, said the virtual poster session is not only a way for students to be seen and heard, but also a way to showcase their work to inspire other young people to want to enter the field of Earth science.

Earthzine has an ongoing effort to reach out to students and create discourse among international students on some of our most challenging societal issues. Earthzine hosts an annual student essay and blogging contest, and the site editors plan to continue the virtual poster sessions, following the DEVELOP poster session example.

The DEVELOP National Program has been active since 1998 and has provided over 2,000 internship opportunities for students and young professionals.

“This program challenges young professionals to learn about NASA’s contributions to the Earth sciences, as well as about themselves. They are empowered to find solutions and think outside the box as they conduct research with NASA and partner scientists,” said Mike Ruiz, DEVELOP program manager. “DEVELOP appreciates the students being provided the opportunity to share their research with Earthzine’s viewers.”

Related links:
+ View the virtual poster session: http://www.earthzine.org/develop-spring-2011-virtual-poster-session
+ Find out more about DEVELOP: http://develop.larc.nasa.gov

Katie Lorentz Bethea
NASA's Langley Research Center