NASA, Agriculture partner for environmental good

NASA and the Department of Agriculture will team to tackle a number of tough environmental issues, the agencies announced March 5.

The two agencies will share resources on a series of programs to manage invading species, water and air resources and to find ways for U.S. farmers to compete in the world market.

"NASA's ability to view the Earth from the unique vantage point of space provides data to enhance our ability to predict climate, weather and natural hazards, as well as to mitigate and assess the effects of natural and human-induced disasters," NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said. "The relevant and concise information we provide will allow USDA and other U.S. government agencies to make critical, accurate and timely decisions."

Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said that NASA's capabilities in monitoring, mapping, modeling and systems engineering can help in Agriculture's environmental missions. The space agency can offer data that can help predicting weather and better support local and regional systems in agricultural management.

The two agencies are holding a workshop in Denver this week to identify specific programs that could benefit from the collaboration, as well as specific technologies that could be used.

An Agriculture/NASA Interagency Working Group has also been formed to establish new research efforts, remote sensing systems and models for decision support in agricultural systems.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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