[ArgusLeader]Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey’s EROS Data Center celebrated a 25-year partnership with NASA on Thursday that has turned space science into insight and answers for drought, earthquakes, wild fires and more.
It was Aug. 28, 1990, that the two federal
agencies decided to establish what officially is called the Land
Processes Distributed Active Archive Center at the EROS site northeast
of Sioux Falls.
That’s a mouthful for the work being done at the
center, where 55 to 60 scientists, engineers and analysts take land data
from NASA satellites and ingest it, archive it, process it and
distribute it in various products to 130,000 users globally.
flags for USGS and NASA were ceremoniously raised Thursday — just as
they were 25 years ago at the start of this partnership — city, state
and federal officials gathered to acknowledge how that work has impacted
the understanding of changes on the land and how to potentially avert
Michael Connor, Deputy Secretary of the
Department of Interior, touched on those impacts, from satellite imagery
that tracks how land surfaces are affected by drought in California,
wild fires in the West or rising water levels along the coasts.
challenges and the stresses that exist on the earth and its natural
resources are simply growing in complexity, compounded by our use of
those natural resources and continuing to have the increasing
population,” Connor said. “And of course climate change is an overlay
that complicates all of these issues.”
Acting USGS Director
Suzette Kimball said South Dakota is “certainly an appropriate location”
for one of NASA’s 12 Distributed Active Archive Centers and the only
one housed in a USGS facility. Data-set products produced at the center
not only provide valuable information to the National Earthquake
Information Center, but to other government and private sectors as well —
everything from managing potential fuels for wild fires to predicting
“Having these kinds of data available is not only a
benefit to USGS, but to the nation and the communities that live in the
realm of risk, areas where there are earthquake and volcano events,”
Kimball said. Read More