SERVIR: Program brings satellite imagery, decision support tools to Himalayan region

October 6, 2010 By Janet Anderson
SERVIR: Program brings satellite imagery, decision support tools to Himalayan region
SERVIR works from space to village, bringing people and their environment into harmony. SERVIR does this by providing access to data and models, coupled with training and capacity building that can be used to help decision makers and their constituencies with climate change, environmental monitoring, and assessment of extreme events. In fact, SERVIR-Himalaya has already been helping to map the recent flooding in Pakistan, shown below, through USAID support and NASA satellite data. Image Credit: SERVIR

NASA and USAID are expanding SERVIR to the Himalayas to address critical issues such as land cover change, air quality, glacial melt and adaptation to climate change. The agencies are working in partnership with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), a regional knowledge development and learning center that serves member countries in the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

SERVIR was developed by researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and it's name comes from the Spanish word meaning "to serve." SERVIR features web-based access to satellite imagery, decision-support tools and interactive visualization capabilities, and puts previously inaccessible information into the hands of scientists, environmental managers, and decision-makers. The Earth observation information is used to address threats related to climate change, biodiversity, and extreme events such as flooding, forest fires, and storms.

"SERVIR is valuable tool to address issues related to and change and to provide relevant information that improves understanding of these phenomena," said Dan Irwin, SERVIR project director at the Marshall Center. "Science and technology are key -- ultimately it is the combination of local expertise and space-based technology that makes monitoring effective."

The SERVIR program is operated by the Earth Science Division's Applied Sciences Program in NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Four other NASA field centers work with Marshall on the program: Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., Ames Research Center in Moffet Field, Calif., the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

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