Earth Science Division Corner


Dr. Jack Kaye

Dr. Jack Kaye


Welcome to the Earth Science Division corner of the SARA web page. Dr. Michael Freilich, is the Director of the Earth Science Division, Peg Luce is the Deputy Director, and Jack Kaye is the Associate Director and R&A lead.

The Research Program Objectives for the Earth Science Division are:

  • Advance knowledge of the Earth as a system through development and analyses of remotely sensed data, in situ and airborne measurements, and modeling
  • Expand and demonstrate utility of NASA and related spaceborne mission data through measurement-focused investigations and development of advanced products
  • "Mainstream" spaceborne Earth Obs products to encourage broad use by non-remote sensing experts
  • Identify important yet tractable future problems and missions given expert knowledge of both science and technology state-of-the-art
  • Identify key future areas of technology development to address presently intractable problems
  • Provide a community of researchers that can support transition of new knowledge to applications (Applied Sciences) and prediction/operations (inter-agency)

The Research Program Structure is as follows:

  • Research and Analysis - mainly individual investigator competed activities, organized predominantly around scientific disciplines
  • Mission Science Teams - support for investigators affiliated with individual satellite missions or groups of closely related missions
  • EOS Science - includes calibration/validation for EOS and interdisciplinary science, as well as EOS project science office
  • Airborne Science - includes operation of aircraft platforms and investments to support bringing new capability into NASA airborne science programs
  • High End Computing - includes investment in supercomputing capability to support community and infrastructure needed for its use

The Earth Science Division R&A and R&A like programs:

  • R&A includes several basic areas
    • Laboratory investigations - especially spectroscopy, kinetics, and photochemistry
    • Surface-based measurement networks
    • Airborne and balloon-based measurements, including field campaigns (also in EOS cal/val)
    • Integrated analysis of satellite data, including analysis of multiple data sets
    • Process model development and testing
    • Regional/global model development, testing, and application decisions
  • Technology
    • Advanced Component Technology
    • Advanced Information System Technology
    • Instrument Incubator Program
  • Education and Public Outreach (EPO)
  • New Investigator Program/Student Fellowships
  • International Polar Year/EPO
  • Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)
  • Research, Education and Applications Solutions Network (REASoN)/
  • Advanced Cosmic Ray Composition Experiment for the Space Station (ACCESS)


Bar graph showing average distribution and task sizes


Earth Science Questions

How is the Earth changing and what are the consequences for life on Earth?
How is the global Earth system changing?
What are the primary causes of change in the Earth system?
How does the Earth system respond to natural and human-induced changes?
What are the consequences for human civilization?
How will the Earth system change in the future?

Earth Science Focus Areas

Atmospheric Composition
Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems
Water & Energy Cycle
Climate Variability & Change

Example of Scientific Integration

Documenting changes in global sea level, being able to understand those changes, and predict their future evolution

Contributing Program Elements:

  • R&A Disciplines
    • Physical Oceanography
    • Terrestrial Hydrology
    • Cryospheric Science
    • Space Geodesy
    • Modeling and Analysis
  • Instrument Teams
    • Jason (global sea level)
    • ICESat (ice sheet thickness)
    • GRACE (ice mass, stored water)
    • ASTER (glacier extent)
    • AMSR-E (SST/upper ocean heat content)
  • Airborne Science
    • Lidar flights for ice thickness studies
  • Interdisciplinary Science



Bar graph showing Earth science funding for fiscal years 2004 through 2007, excluding corporate G & A investments





Bar graph showing selection rates by number accepted and number proposed




Bar graph showing average task size distributions for ROSES 2005/2006 selections
Bar graph showing average distribution and task sizes