Earth Science Office

Part of NASA’s charter is to perform research to improve our understanding of our home planet and to develop technologies to better observe the Earth system and to transition them to operational agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From the early days of the Agency, NASA has shown that one of the most fascinating and useful applications of space technologies is the study of Earth’s weather and climate system, and ongoing activities have further shown the importance of space-based observations of the entire Earth system.

The Earth Science Research and Analysis (R&A) team is part of Marshall’s Earth Science Office. The R&A team develops and uses new technologies unique to NASA. Through the use of new observing capabilities from space, the R&A team makes significant contributions toward developing a better understanding of the intricacies of the Earth system and addressing such important questions as the reliability of future climate and weather predictions on both global and regional scales. Through its efforts, the R&A team is able to further define the requirements for new observational capabilities to address questions that arise as our study of the Earth-atmospheric system evolves.

Another focus of the R&A team is transitioning technologies (both observational and analytical) that are developed by NASA to further improve the capabilities and offerings of the Nation’s vital public health and safety organizations such as the National Weather Service.

Rather than focus on the entire Earth system, the R&A team chooses to specialize in areas of expertise and of significant concern to the Nation. Specializations include observations of lightning and atmospheric convection, microwave remote sensing, studies of climate dynamics, and enabling use of NASA observations and modeling capabilities by the National Weather Service.