What Is DEVELOP?
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 advisors. DEVELOP is unique in that young professionals lead research projects that focus on utilizing NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues. With the competitive nature and growing societal role of science and technology in today’s global workplace, DEVELOP is fostering an adept corps of tomorrow’s scientists and leaders.
DEVELOP bridges the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, building capacity in both participants and partner organizations to better prepare them to handle the challenges that face our society and future generations.
Uniting NASA Earth observations with society to foster future innovation and cultivate the professionals of tomorrow by addressing diverse environmental issues today.
To maximize NASA's Earth science investments by enabling the next generation to accelerate innovative
applications in technology, resource management, policy development, and decision making.
Our Core Values
Innovation, Service, Integrity, Passion, Professionalism, Stewardship, Scholarship, Collaboration
Our Strategic Goals
Extend NASA Earth Science research to benefit society.
Enhance training and development for young professionals.
Cultivate and maintain relationships through a dynamic program structure that fosters and expands effective collaborations.
The foundation for the DEVELOP Program began in the summer of 1998 when three student interns at NASA Langley Research Center co-authored a research paper titled The Practical Applications of Remote Sensing (Bauer et al., 1998). Concurrently, the Digital Earth Initiative, a federal interagency project dedicated to furthering humans' understanding of the planet, initiated an effort to increase public access to federal information about the Earth and the environment. With the shared focus of these two ventures, a proposal was submitted to combine the mission of NASA's Digital Earth Initiative and the Langley students' paper. This set the stage for the creation of a new student internship program within NASA, and in 1999 DEVELOP was officially formed.
The early success of DEVELOP was due to the alignment of projects with the issues facing local and regional communities. DEVELOP gradually expanded from one center into a nationwide program that supports over 200 internships each year. The first DEVELOP team location outside Langley was established in 2001 through a partnership with the local government in Wise County, Virginia.
The next year, the program expanded to its third location with the establishment of the NASA Stennis Space Center team. DEVELOP reached the West-
Coast the following summer when NASA Ames Research Center in California began hosting DEVELOP students. A presentation at a policy conference introduced the DEVELOP Program to the Mobile County Health Department, and a team location was established there in the fall of 2003. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland joined during the summer of 2004, and DEVELOP teams were established at both NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California by the fall of 2008.
Recent nodes were established at the USGS North Central Climate Science Center in Fort Collins, CO, , and the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, with a focus on remote sensing of environmental issues in those regions, as well as two internationally-focused nodes at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) in Palisades, NY, and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Kathmandu, Nepal.
Today the National Program Office (DEVELOP's headquarters) is hosted at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia and oversees 11 domestic DEVELOP nodes - six at NASA Centers (Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Langley Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Stennis Space Center), five regional and academic locations (Mobile County Health Department, Fort Collins Science Center, Wise County and City of Norton Clerk of Court's Office, International Research Center for Climate and Society, and University of Georgia), as well as two international DEVELOP nodes (Tecnologico de Monterrey Campus Saltillo and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development).
Since inception, over 2,800 internship opportunities have been provided across the country, and the DEVELOP Program proactively looks for additional opportunities to reach new communities and demonstrate the benefits of NASA's Earth science research.