Enhanced Use of Earth Observations for Societal Benefit Panel - Moderated by Curt Tilmes, NASA


The Federal Government invests more than $3 billion annually in civil Earth observations to provide decision makers with information vital to improve citizens’ lives, protect life and property, promote national security and economic growth, and advance scientific inquiry. Responding to a request from Congress, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), through the interagency U.S. Group on Earth Observations (USGEO), has initiated a triennial national assessment and planning process to better inform agencies’ long-term investments in Earth observations and to ensure continuity of information needed for public services and long-term research in the public interest.  USGEO also coordinates the Big Earth Data Initiative, a long-term multiagency effort to improve the overall discoverability, accessibility, and usability of Earth observation data.

Two closely-related near-term Executive branch initiatives, the Climate Data Initiative (CDI) and Climate Resilience Toolkit (CRT), collectively known as Climate Data and Tools (CDAT), require guidance, oversight, and coordination involving a broad range of Federal organizations and external partners.  The CDAT initiative provides a National and Federal operational capability where governmental, non-governmental, private, and public data, services and applications are integrated and made easily accessible to the public.  These data, services, and applications are helping to inform and address national and regional climate resilience issues, including those related to food security.

White House staff will provide an overview of the 2014 National Plan for Civil Earth Observations, USGEO, BEDI, and CDAT, and Federal agencies’ work in promoting the use of Earth observations for critical public and private sector decision-making.  They will also participate in a subsequent panel chaired by NASA to discuss key issues and answer audience questions.


Timothy Stryker

Director, U.S. Group on Earth Observations Program

National Science and Technology Council

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


Richard Driggers

Director, Data and Systems Integration Policy

National Security Staff

The White House


Fabien Laurier

Director, National Climate Assessment

Lead Climate Data and Tools Initiative

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy


Panel Moderator:

Curt Tilmes

Co-Chair, USGEO Data Management Working Group

NASA Earth Science Data Systems, Earth Science Division

Societal Benefit of Earth Observations - Moderated by Curt Tilmes
Speaker: Tim Stryker
  • talking about Legislative background and timeline - earth Observations policy
  • Purposes of the USGEO Subcommittee
  • Earth Observation Assessment (EOA) 13 societal benefit areas
  • National Plan was released in Jul 2014
  • Sustained Observations for public services and earth system research
  • Lists identified priorities of the national plan
  • efforts in data management
  • BEDI (Big Earth Data Initiative) 
Speaker: Richard Driggers 
Presidents Climate Action Plan 
  • Differences between tool kit and the initiative
  • thematic areas of CDI
  • toolkit demonstration/overview
  • Toolkit was launched on Dec 17th 2015
  • Talking about climate resilience challenges
  • Federal CLimate Enterprise visual model
  • shows technical process/architecture conceptualization
Curt follows up after discussion - opening up to questions from the audience


Enhanced Use of Earth Observations for Societal Benefit Panel - Moderated by Curt Tilmes, NASA; Winter Meeting 2015. ESIP Commons , December 2014