From Soup to Nuts: How Terra has enabled the growth of NASA Earth science communication

Friday, 19 December 2014
Kevin Ward, Michael J Carlowicz, Jesse Allen, Adam Voiland and Paul Przyborski, Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, MD, United States
The birth of NASA’s Earth Observatory website in 1999 closely mirrored the launch of Terra and over the years its growth has paralleled that of the Earth Observing System (EOS) program. With the launch of Terra, NASA gained an extraordinary platform that not only promised new science capabilities but gave us the data and imagery for telling the stories behind the science. The Earth Observatory Group was founded to communicate these stories to the public. We will present how we have used the capabilities of all the Terra instruments over the past 15 years to expand the public’s knowledge of NASA Earth science. The ever-increasing quantity and quality of Terra data, combined with technological improvements to data availability and services has allowed the Earth Observatory and, as a result, the greater science-aware media, to greatly expand the visibility of NASA data and imagery. We will offer thoughts on best practices in using these multi-faceted instruments for public communication and we will share how we have worked with Terra science teams and affiliated systems to see the potential stories in their data and the value of providing the data in a timely fashion. Terra has allowed us to tell the stories of our Earth today like never before.