Applied Sciences Program

Programs - Applied Science

The Program funds projects that enable innovative uses of NASA Earth science data in organizations' policy, business, and management decisions. The project results and enhanced decision making improve the quality of life and strengthen the economy.

Making Space for Earth Blog

Heather Lynch Receives Young Scientist Award for Tracking Antarctica Penguins with Satellites

Heather Lynch is one of three scientists receiving the 2019 Blavatnick National Awards for Young Scientists for her unique synthesis of cutting-edge statistics, mathematical models, satellite remote sensing and Antarctic field biology to understand the inner workings of penguin colonies.

Read more stories about how NASA's Applied Sciences Program benefits your life here on Earth.


NASA Promotes the Use of Earth Observations for National Public Health Week 2018

Using NASA Satellite Data to Predict Malaria Outbreaks

Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted to humans by the bites of Anopheles sp. mosquitoes. In the Peruvian Amazon, scientists are turning to satellite data from Landsat, the Global Precipitation Measurement mission, Terra, and Aqua to develop a system that can forecast malaria outbreaks at the household level. These data can provide additional tools for scientists and public health officials to mitigate disease risk and target resource distribution to at-risk communities.


U.S. Air Quality Monitoring through Earth Observations

Ozone (O3) in the air we breathe can have detrimental effects on human health and the environment. The U.S. EPA utilized NASA Aura satellite data of North American background ozone levels to guide its updated National Ambient Air Quality Standards. These new standards will enhance public health for all citizens, including high-risk populations such as children and the elderly.


Space-based Observations are Helping Eradicate River Blindness in the Americas

River blindness (onchocerciasis) is an affliction caused by a parasitic worm that is transmitted person-to-person by the bites of Simulium sp. black flies. The Carter Center targeted its river blindness eradication efforts in the Americas by using Landsat and Terra satellite data to find previously unknown populations at risk. This information can aid public health officials to identify specific health needs and expand the delivery of health services to isolated communities.


Satellites are Helping Detect and Forecast Harmful Algal Blooms

Large accumulations of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are toxic and harmful to people and animals. NASA Aqua and Terra satellite data help detect, forecast, and target responses to Harmful Algal Blooms in the Great Lakes and Florida. This information can aid in risk assessment and decision making to safeguard public health for all citizens.



Earth-observing Data are Helping South Dakota’s Department of Health Stay One Step Ahead of West Nile Virus Outbreaks

West Nile Virus (WNV) is commonly spread to humans by the bites of Culex sp. mosquitoes. As South Dakota is the U.S. hotspot for WNV, local scientists and public health officials developed a way to use environmental data from NASA satellites to forecast disease risk. These data help inform scientists and community practitioners working in disease prevention and control to educate the public and better manage vector control efforts.



2016 Annual Report

From penguins to plant stress, the 2016 Annual Report highlights the many innovative ways our partners use Earth observations to support their projects and activities.



Research Opportunities

Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2019

Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2018

Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2017


Program Website

We invite you to learn more at the Program's main website: