Open NASA Earth Exchange (OpenNEX): A Public-Private Partnership for Climate Change Research

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 4:55 PM
Ramakrishna R Nemani1, Tsengdar J Lee2, Andrew Michaelis3, Sangram Ganguly1 and Petr Votava4, (1)NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, United States, (2)NASA, Burke, VA, United States, (3)University Corporation at Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA, United States, (4)California State University Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA, United States
NASA Earth Exchange (NEX) is a data, computing and knowledge collaborative that houses satellite, climate and ancillary data where a community of researchers can come together to share modeling and analysis codes, scientific results, knowledge and expertise on a centralized platform with access to large supercomputing resources. As a part of broadening the community beyond NASA-funded researchers, NASA through an agreement with Amazon Inc. made available to the public a large collection of Climate and Earth Sciences satellite data. The data, available through the Open NASA Earth Exchange (OpenNEX) platform hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud, consists of large amounts of global land surface imaging, vegetation conditions, climate observations and climate projections. In addition to the data, users of OpenNEX platform can also watch lectures from leading experts, learn basic access and use of the available data sets.

In order to advance White House initiatives such as Open Data, Big Data and Climate Data and the Climate Action Plan, NASA over the past six months conducted the OpenNEX Challenge. The two-part challenge was designed to engage the public in creating innovative ways to use NASA data and address climate change impacts on economic growth, health and livelihood. Our intention was that the challenges allow citizen scientists to realize the value of NASA data assets and offers NASA new ideas on how to share and use that data. The first “ideation” challenge, closed on July 31st attracted over 450 participants consisting of climate scientists, hobbyists, citizen scientists, IT experts and App developers. Winning ideas from the first challenge will be incorporated into the second “builder” challenge currently targeted to launch mid-August and close by mid-November. The winner(s) will be formally announced at AGU in December of 2014. We will share our experiences and lessons learned over the past year from OpenNEX, a public-private partnership for engaging and enabling a large community of citizen scientists to better understand global climate changes and in creating climate resilience.