North Carolina – NCEI

North Carolina – NCEI
Host & Lead Collaborator: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)
Acronym: NC

About the Node Hosts: As the NASA DEVELOP National Program expands to new areas, such as the node located in Asheville, North Carolina, unique collaborations are being created between NASA's Applied Sciences Capacity Building Program and other influential organizations. The node in Asheville is housed within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information headquarters (NCEI) (previously known as the National Climate Data Center or NCDC) alongside the Remote Sensing and Applications Division (RSAD) and the Cooperative Institute of Climate and Satellites - North Carolina (CICS-NC).

NOAA's NCEI in Asheville holds the world's largest climate and weather data archive containing extensive data that ranges from weather observations taken by Thomas Jefferson to near-real time satellite remote sensing data. In 1951 the Federal Government consolidated millions of pages of archived weather data from across the country to Asheville for safekeeping. In 2015, NOAA merged its three major data centers, including NCDC in Asheville, to create NCEI as a way to meet a growing demand for environmental information. One mission of NCEI is to focus on end-user needs and engagement, creating a perfect niche for NASA DEVELOP within NCEI's headquarters.

The primary science advisor of NCEI, Dr. L. DeWayne Cecil, has been involved with DEVELOP since 2005, when he served as the Chief Scientist of NASA's Applied Sciences Program. Since then DeWayne has moved on to work alongside NOAA's NCEI and helped to establish a collaborative NASA DEVELOP node that is able to capitalize on both NOAA and NASA resources, including: diverse project mentors as well as access to, and knowledge of, datasets produced by both agencies.

History of the DEVELOP Node: The node at NCEI started in 2014. The partnership that drove the creation of this new node began in the summer of 2014, when a DEVELOP team at NASA's Langley Research Center collaborated with Dr. Cecil, a primary contractor to NOAA, and Dr. Carl Shreck of the CICS-NC on the California Climate project, stationing two participants at NCEI. The node has since hosted projects that have gone on to create impactful products and analyses for various end-users. The node has been recognized for influential projects such as the Pacific Water Resources I project (Summer 2015), which lead to multiple publications, several conference presentations, and was honored by a 2015 NCEI Employee's Choice Award for Innovative Product of the Year. The node in Asheville is starting to find its niche within NCEI and is helping to connect both NASA and NOAA data to end-users who truly need it.

About the Node: As a newer node, DEVELOP NCEI is still growing and node leadership is heavily invested in expanding the capacity of the node. Every year NCEI hosts approximately 10-15 participants and completes an average of 5 projects. Projects at the node tend to focus primarily on climate applications due to its embedded relationship with NCEI's Climate and Weather Service. Participants work in the midst of some of NOAA's top scientists, including Nobel Prize nominees. Many projects in the past have gone to these experts for mentorship and often find open doors and project advice. The NASA DEVELOP location at NCEI provides participants with direct access to renowned tropical meteorologists and influential climatologists. Many of the science advisors have diverse backgrounds and the affiliation with NCEI gives teams access to NOAA's Regional Climate Service Directors as well as many other NOAA organizations.

Since the summer of 2016 NASA DEVELOP at NCEI has interacted with a local climate service think tank called the Collider. Serving as a cooperative workspace for academic and private sector organizations focused on climate resiliency, the Collider offers NASA DEVELOP at NCEI a chance to network and pull from diverse expertise. Every Friday the node participates in a networking "Coffee Hour" at the Collider to meet locally-operated climate service companies as well as local environmental groups.

Asheville, North Carolina
Node Leadership
Fellow: Kathleen Lange
Science Advisor: Mike Kruk
Featured Project
US Pacific Islands Oceans