Exploring Flexible and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Applied Science Research Project Assessments: Case Studies from the NASA DEVELOP National Program
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Within the NASA DEVELOP National Program, teams conduct rapid prototype and feasibility projects, applying NASA Earth Observations to a broad range of problems in diverse focus areas, including water resources, agriculture, disaster management, and ecological forecasting, with the goal of assisting partner organizations in their decision making processes. Projects vary in scope, design, and satellite data utilized. As a result, there is no “fixed” set of indicators that encompasses all relevant impacts of all projects. Rather, a flexible toolkit of both shared indicators and individualized approaches is needed to capture the diverse outcomes of these projects, while still allowing for comparability of the projects. This has been done through the creation of pre- and post-project partner assessments that capture partner needs, capabilities, and expectations. This provides both baseline data and an overview of project impacts on partners. Selected projects are then individually assessed in greater detail through partner follow-ups and research into the quantification of project impacts utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to fit each project. This process is discussed through three examples of project impact assessments that draw from varied discipline approaches including cost benefit analysis and ecosystem services.