Douglas Isbell Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1753) RELEASE: 96-125

July 1, 1996

NASA NAMES LANDSAT 7 SCIENCE TEAM AND FUNDS PROMISING YOUNG EARTH SCIENTISTS NASA has selected the team leader and other members of the science team for the future Landsat 7 remote-sensing satellite and awarded grants to promising Earth scientists in the early stages of their research careers. Solicited in a September 1995 NASA Research Announcement, the recent selections also include interdisciplinary Earth scientists and additional researchers to work with data returned by instruments to be flown on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and Earth Observing System spacecraft. The total value of the awards to 198 scientists from 60 institutions is approximately $15 million. All of the scientists will be working in support of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program, a long-term comprehensive research effort to better understand the Earth as an integrated system of land, water, air and life. The Landsat 7 science team will be led by Dr. Samuel Goward of the University of Maryland in College Park. Other team members are based at universities in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, and New York; the U.S. Geological Survey and Department of Agriculture; and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA. Landsat 7 is scheduled for launch in December 1998, with a main objective of continuing the record of remotesensing measurements of Earth's land surfaces made by the Landsat series of satellites since 1972. A small technology demonstration satellite developed under NASA's New Millennium program will fly in formation with Landsat 7 to evaluate an advanced hyperspectral imaging instrument that could extend the Landsat-type data set beyond the Landsat series.

-more-2Mission To Planet Earth's "New Investigator Program" (NIP) is designed to provide financial support to scientists and engineers at an early stage of their professional career. NIP proposals were restricted to recent Ph.D. recipients graduating no more than five years before the issue date of the announcement. The proposed investigations had to be based on analysis, interpretation, and significant use of data from space-based observations leading to an improved understanding of the Earth system and global climate change. A long-term cost-sharing commitment by the associated university was a secondary requirement for selection. Twenty-one of 67 submitted proposals were selected, with the researchers based at 18 universities, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution near Boston, GSFC and JPL. "NASA selected this group of outstanding young scientists to foster interdisciplinary Earth system science and education in support of its missions in the 21st century," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Lead Program Scientist in the Office of Mission to Planet Earth, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. A complete list of the researchers selected and the topics of their proposals is available on the World Wide Web at the following URL: -end-