AQ & GEOSS Session during ISRSE May 2009

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Session Announcement. Air Quality and GEOSS: Status, Issues and Panel Discussion

Session Chairs: Rudy Husar, Washington University, St. Louis, Lawrence Friedl, NASA

The evolving Global Earth Observing Sysytem of Systems (GEOSS) infrastructure facilitates the sharing and integration of atmospheric composition observations and models relevant to societal benefit areas (SBAs) such as air quality, chemical climate and atmospheric disasters. Connecting observations and SBAs through GEOSS is particularly timely because:

  1. Satellite observations and models of the global and local atmosphere constitute rich and under-utilized resources;
  2. Multiple SBAs are actively seeking input from observations and models to improve decision-making;
  3. Connecting observations/models to SBA decision makers is currently hampered by the fragmentation of resources and activities.

Topics for papers for this cross-disciplinary session may include: Observations and models of atmospheric composition; Analysis tools, methods and products; Decision-support for health, disaster and other applications; Methods of sharing satellite, surface observations and models through infrastructure, interoperability, catalogs, portals; Community support for communication, cooperation and coordination; Communities of practice. Papers indicating desire to participate in the voluntary GEOSS process and contributing data and other services to the shared resources will be particularly welcomed.

Session Overview

On 6 May 2009, the 33rd ISRSE Symposium held a session on Air Quality and GEOSS: Status, Issues, Panel Discussion. In addition to four talks, posted below, a significant amount of time was held for discussion amongst the presenters, and especially from the audience. The session was attended by 40-50 ISRSE-09 participants. This page attempts to capture some of that discussion. (Feel free to edit this page).


  • (Ask Lawrence for the session intro slides; discussion questions)


Lawrence Friedl, NASA moderated the discussion.

Comments from the Panel.

  • Gary Foley: AIRNow is a good example of decision support. AIRNow could push further, for example by creating applications for cell phones that provide users with real-time real-location AQ information. (This is a pilot project that has been investigated for the US and is awaiting a funding opportunity within EPA.)
  • Nadine:
  • Marten, ESRI:
  • Robert, Compusalt:
  • J. White, EPA:
  • W. Hudspeth, U New Mexico
  • D. McCabe, EPA:
  • E. Robinson: Washington U.

Discussion by the ISRSE-09 Participants

  • Lawrence Friedl, NASA posed a provocative question to the audience: Lets suppose that NASA is willing to fund AQ-GEOSS international, collaborative activities participation. What would you suggest to do? Ideas?
  • Yasjka Meijer, ESA Remarked that there are a number of ISRSE sessions that are 'European', where both the presentations and participants are largely from Europe. Conversely, the presentations in this AQ-GEOSS session was N. American. Why? What can be done about it?
  • Unknown participant: Metadata are crucial in connecting data systems and communities. More work to be done on metadata.
  • Vasile Craciunescu, Romanian Met. Admin., Has surface AQ monitoring data for Bucharest, would like to incorporate it into GEOSS. Needs instructions for standards, tools, methods for integration.
  • Lawrence Friedl reiterated that NASA is interested in fostering Communities of Practice (CoP) with emphasis on non-U.S. participation. What should such a CoP do?
    • Robin Smith, from JRC, Italy. Use social networking, e.g. Facebook Group, Youtube channel, wiki, blogs...
    • David McCabe, EPA. Produce a newsletter.

Additional Comments

R. Husar: From the above, key functions of an AQ Community of Practice for GEOSS would include:

  1. Connecting participants through social networks
  2. Help connecting AQ Data Systems through standardized data and metadata
  3. Facilitate sharing tools and methods for publishing, finding, accessing and using Earth observations for air quality.

D. McCabe: Many initiatives and programs are underway in Europe. Are these folks communicating with one another? How do we (US AQ Community of Practice - ESIP/GEOSS) find these organizations or communities and engage them? Enabling this communication is a central motivation for activating an Air Quality Community of Practice for GEOSS.

See Also: Connecting Atmospheric Composition Observations to Societal Benefit Areas through GEOSS