The foundation for the DEVELOP Program began in the summer of 1998 when three student interns at the Langley Research Center co-authored a technical paper titled "The Practical Applications of Remote Sensing" (Bauer et al., 1998).
DEVELOP was formed to support the goals of NASA's Digital Earth Initiative—a program to increase public access to federal information about the Earth and the Environment.
The DEVELOP Program was formed as a result of a proposal to combine the results of the student's 1998 research paper with the efforts of NASA's Digital Earth Initiative to increase public access to federal information about the Earth and the Environment. DEVELOP initially stood for Digital Earth Virtual Environment and Learning Outreach Program, but it is now referred to simply as DEVELOP.
Wise County, Virginia hosted DEVELOP students focusing on assisting local governments in using NASA Earth observations.
NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center hosted DEVELOP students in the Fall of 2002 to expand geographic presence in the Southern US.
DEVELOP expanded to NASA Ames Research Center in California to focus on issues in the western US.
The DEVELOP office at the Mobile County Health Department was established as the second county government location to explore the use of NASA Earth observations applied to public health.
DEVELOP at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) was founded in 2004 to expand collaborations with Earth science focused NASA Centers.
DEVELOP locations at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) began in 2008 to continue expansion with NASA Centers involved in Earth science.
DEVELOP partnered with Earthzine to create short project videos in the spring 2011 term.
The United States Geological Survey collaborated with Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO to host a DEVELOP office in 2012.
The Athens, Georgia location began with the University of Georgia and now collaborates with the US Department of Agriculture.
DEVELOP was named as one of the recipients of the 2014 "Learning! 100" Award, which honors enterprises that invest in an immersive learning culture and provide exceptional contributions to the learning industry.
DEVELOP and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Center for Environmental Information (NOAA-NCEI) established a joint location in Asheville, NC to highlight applications of both NASA and NOAA Earth observations.
The United States Geological Survey and Idaho State University collaborate to host a DEVELOP office, which intially focused on the Intermountain West.
The Maricopa Department of Public Health collaborated with Arizona State University to host a DEVELOP office primarily focusing on public health in southwestern US.
The DEVELOP online mapper provides access to DEVELOP project information geographically to demonstrate DEVELOP’s global impacts.
The United States Geological Survey in partnership with Boston University hosted its first DEVELOP project in 2018 to expand DEVELOP's presence in the Northeast US.
In the span of 20 years, DEVELOP recognized 4,600 participants who have conducted over 900 DEVELOP projects. Events will be conducted over the course of 2018 to highlight DEVELOP's 20th anniversary.