Thai Students Bridge the Gap between Science and Society with NASA’s Help
NASA Earth observations are utilized to address flood and drought and agricultural land management in Thailand under its commendable program “NASA DEVELOP.” For the first time, ten Thai students selected by the Royal Thai Embassy and NASA were awarded internship opportunities at three NASA’s locations; NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, and Wise County and City of Norton Clerk of Court’s Office in Virginia.
The NASA DEVELOP National Program fosters an interdisciplinary research environment where applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisers. DEVELOP is unique in that young professionals lead research projects that focus on utilizing NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issuesใ (Source : http://develop.larc.nasa.gov/about.html)
(Photo credit : http://develop.larc.nasa.gov/projects.html)
Thailand and NASA DEVELOP
The Embassy, the Office of Science and Technology and the Office of Educational Affairs in Washington, D.C. have cooperated with the NASA DEVELOP team to have Thai students participate in the Program for the first time. The students were assigned to undertake two research projects; (1) Thailand Disasters: Monitoring Risk and Extent of Flood and Drought for Enhanced Decision Making and Resource Allocation, and (2) Thailand Agriculture: Monitoring Food Corp Health and Stress Due to Changing Climate for Enriched Agricultural Land Management.
Chisaphat Supunyachotsakul and Nobphadon Suksangpanya, PhD scholarship students majoring in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, Indiana, and Srisunee Wuthiwongyothin, a PhD scholarship student in Water Resources Engineering from University of California Davis, were placed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland under the guidance of Kiersten Newtoff, DEVELOP Center Lead at Goddard.
Arom Boekfah, a PhD scholarship student in Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Chayanit Choomwattana, a Master’s student in Energy Science, Technology and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, Komsan Rattanakijsuntorn, a PhD scholarship student in Mechanical Engineering, University of Southern California, and Watanyoo Suksa-Ngiam, a PhD scholarship student in Information Systems and Technology, Claremont Graduate University, California, worked under the guidance of Leigh Sinclair, DEVELOP Center Lead at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
Atipat Wattanuntachai, a Master’s scholarship student in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Thanapat Vichienlux, a Bachelor’s scholarship student in Aerospace Engineering, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida, and Sahakait Benyasut, a Bachelor’s student in Computer Science, Brown University, were place at Wise County, Virginia, with Jordan Bates as a Center Lead.
After a ten-week internship, on July 29, 2015, Lawrence Friedl, Director of NASA Applied Sciences Program, and Dr. Nancy Searby, Program Manager for Capacity Building Program, led the NASA team to attend the Thai Students’ NASA DEVELOP Showcase event at the Embassy. The students gave a presentation on the results of their research projects highlighting how NASA Earth observations helped address environmental and agricultural issues in Thailand. The students and their NASA science advisers also share their experiences working together under NASA DEVELOP.
The Thai students also participated in the Annual Earth Science Applications Showcase on July 30, 2015 at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
(Photo credit : NASA DEVELOP National Program’s Facebook)
VDO presentation by Thai students at Goddard and Wise County on “Thailand Disasters: Monitoring Risk and Extent of Flood and Drought for Enhanced Decision Making and Resource Allocation” (Source : NASA DEVELOP National Program YouTube channel)
VDO presentation by Thai students at Marshall and Wise County on “Thailand Agriculture: Monitoring Food Corp Health and Stress Due to Changing Climate for Enriched Agricultural Land Management” (Source : NASA DEVELOP National Program YouTube channel)
NASA DEVELOP is just one of the projects Thailand has cooperated with NASA. From August 28 – September 1, 2015, Maj. Gen. Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, will visit Thailand to launch the SERVIR Mekong hub, funded by NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok and its partners. The project will help Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam take advantage of publicly available satellite imagery, geospatial data and maps to make more informed decisions on issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure development and natural resource management. (Source : http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/servir/mekong.html)
(Photo credit : http://www.nasa.gov/nasa-leadership)