Esri Supports Student Work in NASA DEVELOP Program

Blog Post created by jkerski-esristaff Employee on Sep 15, 2017

Esri supported student work in remote sensing by donating ArcGIS software to each member of the winning team of the NASA DEVELOP video presentation contest.  NASA DEVELOP is a national program that fosters an interdisciplinary research environment where applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors. The program is unique in that young professionals lead research projects that focus on using NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues.  DEVELOP nurtures future science leaders, and therefore it was a pleasure to support NASA’s efforts in this way and to give students software that will enable them to continue working with GIS and remote sensing data.  We have supported the winners with software donations for many years and truly believe in the value of this program.  This year, the contest included 138 researchers conducting 30 projects across 12 DEVELOP locations.  

The virtual posters, featured on IEEE Earthzine, were scored by a 26-member panel based on content clarity (including community concern, project partner, NASA Earth observations, and products created), along with production quality, and professional communication.

Parts of the video from the winning project team.

Parts of the video from the winning project team.


The grand prize winner of the DEVELOP VPS video presentation was Say No to the Glow: Using NASA and NOAA’s Suomi NPP Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite to Model Artificial Sky Brightness, by a team of four participants at DEVELOP’s Wise County, Virginia location. Their study focused on this issue: "As more outdoor lighting is installed for safety and development, light pollution has become a growing problem that threatens the quality of life for humans and wildlife. The onset of light pollution in cities and dark sky areas hinders humans from seeing the stars and the Milky Way and has been linked to health disorders in humans and behavioral changes in flora and fauna. Park officials at Grand Teton National Park are concerned about light pollution’s impacts on visitor experience and the environment. Thus, in collaboration with the National Park Service and Wyoming Stargazing, our team created the Skyglow Estimation Toolbox (SET), a Python program that calculates images of artificial sky glow from the vantage point of a viewer on the ground."  See the project's highlights in this video.


Mentors and advisors included Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil (NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, Global Science & Technology), Dr. Kenton Ross (NASA Langley Research Center), and Bob VanGundy (The University of Virginia’s College at Wise).  


The People’s Choice Award for the most popular video this summer goes to “Tree Health Time Machine,” conducted by three participants at the NASA Ames Research Center DEVELOP node in Moffett Field, California.


Congratulations to all who participated in the NASA DEVELOP program.  By engaging in real-world issues with geospatial technologies, you are all winners!