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Nevada NASA EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Development

At the recent NV NASA ESPCoR caucus a proposal development workshop and series of breakout discussions occurred. This was the first time in Nevada that a statewide workshop enabled participants to identify faculty with common research interests and then work with these collaborators to develop initial proposal concepts. The concepts identified are at the nexus of the NASA Strategic Plan (2014) and Nevada’s science and technology, and economic development plans. The specific topic areas include terrestrial climate change, use of NASA satellite assets, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) development and STEM education. The primary seed grant topics that Nevada will pursue in the following year include the following (in no particular order): • Quality of Clouds and Precipitation in a Changing Climate: A warming climate will likely lead to increases in the frequency of extreme rain events and a shift in precipitation from snow to rain. However, the detailed processes driving these changes are devilishly complicated. Neither will result from a simple extrapolation from the trend in temperature. This project will explore the multi-scale aspects of these changes from the scale of snowflakes and rain drops to the multi-decadal shifts and planetary-scale circulations driving these changes. • Collaborative Communication among UAS: this project will explore the utility of UAS for instant communication and real-time data analysis. • Geospatial Data for Nevada Resources – Database and Groundtruth for Satellite Systems: This project will design and develop a database incorporating historical and modern data such as temperature, precipitation, aerosols, dust, vegetation and land cover. The goal is to provide statewide and regional context for research into the evolution and change of these properties and their implications for water and energy resource use and development in the current changing climate. The data would be widely available in an accessible format to the public and Nevada stakeholders. • Great Basin Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Nevada contains most of the Great Basin. Mountain “islands” created by the basin and range physiognomy are ideal for studying the species/ genotypic refugia and the role these isolated plant/animal/microbial communities, species, populations and their trophic interactions


play in determining ecosystem services. They are also ideal for studying biodiversity conservation, especially in the context of quantifying the effects of climate and global change across small (10 m) to large scales (102 to 106 m). Hogwart’s School of Science and Engineering: This project would adapt three previously developed hands-on engineering activities to a transportable kit that can be shipped statewide. This builds on the success of the Nevada Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) program and DRI’s Green Box program to deliver hands-on science to K-6 students in Nevada. NV Sat (or Shadow Sat or Twilight Sat): This is a CubeSat project to examine aerosols and possibly ocean wave height. The NV Sat imaging would use a visible camera and would occur at dawn and dusk. The concept would be verified by looking at GOES dawn and dusk images. A sun synchronous dawn/dusk orbit would be established to follow the line of dawn/dusk around the globe. Some initial testing of cameras could be performed using NV’s high altitude ballooning program and the International Space Station. Planetarium Presentations: The results of many NASA funded research projects are often difficult to convey to the general public. By taking the research results and turning them into a visualized planetarium show, we can bring scientific results to the general public in a way that no journal article can. The planetarium show can be made available to audiences all over the world. In addition, extremophiles research in the Nevada deserts may hold the key to understanding the possibility of life on other planets.

Nevada System of Higher Education faculty lined up to “pitch” collaboration and seed grant proposal ideas at a recent NV NASA EPSCoR meeting.

NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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