About the Author: Susan Harris serves in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES).
When a massive earthquake hit Japan in March 2011, an informal global network of government officials and NGOs delivered real-time satellite images showing the exact extent of the earthquake and tsunami damage. Japan’s emergency responders used this information to find disaster victims, determine evacuation routes, and prepare for further aftershocks. This is a significant yet small example of the ways we are using earth observing and other satellite information from space to respond to disasters, understand the environment and climate change, and improve the use of our natural resources.
For several decades, the United States and many other countries have worked together to develop advanced earth observing satellites that are literally changing the way we look at the world. Earth Day 2012 falls close to the 40th anniversary of the launch of the U.S. Landsat 1, the… more »
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