The Hampton Roads Urban Development II team converses with City of Hampton Mayor Donnie Tuck at the city council meeting in August.
In the summer of 1998, three interns at Langley Research Center (LaRC) presented their research on the practical applications of remote sensing. Following the presentation, their mentor (now DEVELOP’s program manager) Mike Ruiz was approached by a local government official, who saw an opportunity to bring those applications to their own local community.
“Since 1998, DEVELOP has impacted every US state and many countries across the globe...Connecting local communities to NASA’s Earth observations for the benefit of society is the core of the DEVELOP program...”This small step outside of LaRC turned into a giant leap for the program. Since 1998, DEVELOP has hosted participants at 30 locations across the country and has impacted every US state and many countries across the globe. Connecting local communities to NASA’s Earth observations for the benefit of society is the core of the DEVELOP program and is evident 21 years later through a partnership with DEVELOP-Langley’s host city of Hampton, Virginia.
The Hampton Roads Urban Development team shares their work at the joint Langley-Goddard closeout event in November 2018.
In the spring of 2018, DEVELOP representatives Lindsay Rogers and Amanda Clayton presented the DEVELOP program to the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD program, a community immersion program that “fosters opportunities for increased communication and cooperation among the private, public and nonprofit sectors.”
Following the presentation, Lindsay was approached by Bruce Sturk, the City of Hampton’s Director of Federal Facilities Support. He explained the city’s relationship with NASA Langley and saw an opportunity to partner with DEVELOP to introduce NASA Earth observations to the city’s resiliency efforts.
NASA Langley has been integral to the Hampton community since it was founded as a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) research site in 1917, over a century ago. Despite LaRC’s deep and long-standing connections with the City of Hampton, DEVELOP had not yet partnered with its hometown—until now. From that connection, the Hampton Roads Urban Development project emerged in the Fall of 2018. In partnership with the city, participants mapped Hampton’s coastlines and nearby barrier islands to understand how the landscape changed over the past three decades.
The Hampton Roads Urban Development II team presented their work at Langley Research Center in August 2019. They were joined by representatives from their partner organizations, including Janice Barnes from Waggoner & Ball and Lucy Stoll and David Imburgia from the City of Hampton, as well as community members who contributed to their project, including Velma Goodman.
The outcomes of the first project were exciting to Hampton officials, who wanted to explore other ways NASA data could help them better understand environmental changes in the city. This paved the way for a second project in the Summer of 2019.
“The spirit of connection that began over twenty years ago is at the very core of the DEVELOP program and has been the foundation of success for each project and participant in the decades that followed.”Participants again partnered with the City of Hampton to map impervious surface cover and urban tree canopy to help city officials prioritize areas in need of watershed restoration.
The team was invited to present the outcomes of their project at the Hampton City Council meeting on August 14, 2019, where they met Mayor Donnie Tuck and discussed the implications of this research directly with the city council and decision-makers. The outcomes of these projects shed light on how NASA Earth observations can be integrated with the city’s ongoing efforts to understand the impacts of sea-level rise and climate change on the community, and how the City of Hampton can stand resilient against these forces. The spirit of connection that began over twenty years ago is at the very core of the DEVELOP program and has been the foundation of success for each project and participant in the decades that followed.
The NASA DEVELOP National Program would like to thank our partners at the City of Hampton for their ongoing partnership and Hampton community members for their generous contributions to these projects. Their dedicated and enthusiastic support was a major component in the success of these projects, and we would like to acknowledge their unwavering support of this program and its participants.