Scoping Studies for the Next Terrestrial Ecology Field Campaign (ROSES 2022)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program uses surface, airborne, and space-based observations to understand how Earth’s carbon cycle and terrestrial ecosystems respond to environmental change and human interventions. This improved understanding is gained by combining observations with advanced data analysis techniques and ecosystem process modeling. The goal of the Terrestrial Ecology Program is to improve our understanding of (1) the structure, function, and productivity of terrestrial ecosystems across the globe, (2) the spatial and temporal variability of ecosystem states and processes; (3) the interaction of these ecosystems with the atmosphere and hydrosphere, and (4) the role that these ecosystems play in the cycling of the major biogeochemical elements and water. This improved understanding allows us to develop a capability to diagnose and predict the response of terrestrial ecosystems to environmental change.

The NASA Terrestrial Ecology Program seeks to strengthen the theoretical and scientific basis for measuring the properties of Earth’s vegetation using reflected, emitted, and scattered electromagnetic radiation and develop the methodologies and technical  approaches  required  to  analyze and  interpret  such  measurements.  These activities  will ultimately  provide  a  foundation for  the  new  remote sensing  capabilities needed to  understand  and  monitor  terrestrial  ecosystems  at  regional  to global  scales. 

NASA’s  Terrestrial  Ecology  Program  has  a  long  and  rich  history  of  successfully mounting  intensive  field campaigns  (see  Section 3).  These  field campaigns  have been aimed at  exploiting  the  synergistic  benefits  of  multidisciplinary  science  focused  on  a specific  science  question  or  set of  science questions.  These science  questions  are addressed  using  satellite and  airborne remote  sensing  observations  in combination  with surface  and  near-surface  measurements  of  smaller  scale  features  and  processes.  Such field  experiments  use  an integrative modeling  framework  to synthesize and scale  the results  across  space  and time.  NASA  Terrestrial  Ecology  field  campaigns focus  the community’s  attention on  (a)  answering  big  science  questions  targeted  on  important regions  or  biomes;  (b)  enabling  more  effective interpretation and  analysis  of  spacebased measurements;  (c)  fostering  collaborative interactions  and  building  new relationships  within the  scientific  community;  (d)  providing  valuable  opportunities  for training  and  educating  the  next  generation of  scientists;  and  (e)  leaving  a legacy  data set  of  great  value  for  future research.   

The  ideas  and strategy  for  field campaigns  have  usually  arisen from  within  the  research community  –  often as  a result  of  discussions  among  current  NASA-funded  researchers working  on related research questions  or  through the  committees  and working  groups  of national  and international  programs.  

This  solicitation  requests  scoping  studies  that will  (1) identify  the scientific  questions,  (2) develop  an initial  study  design;  (3)  and  propose an  implementation  concept  for  a  new NASA  Terrestrial  Ecology  field campaign  that  could  be  implemented on  a six-  to nineyear  time frame.  This  solicitation  offers  resources  to  facilitate such  planning  and provides  an  opportunity  to design a  major,  yet  logistically  feasible,  initiative  that advances  the  Terrestrial  Ecology  Program’s  research goals  and  makes  use  of  NASA’s unique  capabilities  to mount  well-coordinated projects  that use  satellite and airborne remote sensing  as  a  central  element.  Examples  of  the  objectives  and  scope of  previous campaigns  are  provided in  Section  3.  An important  element  of  any  field campaign must be the synthesis  of  the  observations  into  a diagnostic  and predictive capability  that helps  us  to  better  understand  the role of  terrestrial  ecosystems  in  climate change. 

Deadlines:

  • Notice of Intent: Sep. 16, 2022
  • Proposal: Nov. 18, 2022

Eligibility

Faculty

Category

Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

November 18, 2022