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Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space (CESAS)


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint the Committee on Earth Sciences and Applications from Space (CESAS) to operate as an ad-hoc committee. The overarching purpose for the committee is to support scientific progress in Earth system science and applications, with an emphasis on research requiring global data that are best acquired from space and to assist the federal government in planning programs in these fields by providing advice on the implementation of decadal survey recommendations. The CESAS provides an independent, authoritative forum for identifying and discussing issues in Earth Sciences and Applications from Space between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public.

The CESAS will issue reports that will provide guidance to federal agencies that support Earth science research and application from space. The CESAS scope spans space-based and supporting ground-based activities in support of progress in developing a scientific understanding of the Earth system and its response to natural and human-induced changes in order to enable improved prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards for present and future generations. These programs include an end-to-end approach encompassing observations from space-based and suborbital platforms, data and information management, research and analysis, modeling, scientific assessments, applications demonstration, technology development, and education. The CESAS’s scope also includes appropriate cross-disciplinary areas and consideration of budget and programmatic aspects of the implementation of the relevant ESAS [Earth Science and Applications from Space]-2007 or ESAS-2017 decadal survey.

The Committee will build on the current decadal survey of the field, "Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond” (ESAS-2007)--and subsequently the ESAS-2017 report when it is released--and monitor the progress of its recommended priorities for the most important scientific and technical activities in the relevant decadal survey report and recommendations in the mid-decadal review report issued in 2012.

The committee will carry out its charge by undertaking the following tasks:

1. At each of its in-person meetings, as appropriate, the committee may prepare concise assessments of progress on the implementation of the decadal survey's recommended scientific and technical activities. The assessments will be based on evidence gathered by the committee at its in-person and virtual meetings. The committee’s assessment reports may include findings and conclusions on key strategies being pursued by the agencies and the status of agency actions that relate to the state of implementation. The reports may also highlight scientific discoveries and engineering and technical advances relevant to progress on the science objectives identified in the ESAS-2007 or ESAS-2017 decadal report, as appropriate, and in addition will focus on one or more of the following types of issues:

  • The scientific impact of a change in the technical and engineering design, cost estimate, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more of the survey-recommended activities;
  • The impact of a scientific advance on the technical and engineering design, schedule, or programmatic sequencing of one or more survey-recommended activities;
  • The scientific impact of a course of action at a decision point described in the survey report and recommended therein as being suitable for consultation with an independent decadal survey implementation committee;
  • The scientific impact of implementing recommendations from the mid-decadal review and other relevant Academies' reports.
2. At an in-person meeting, the committee may prepare a concise report with advice on the preparation for future decadal and mid-decadal studies.  These reports will be based on evidence gathered by the committee at its in-person and virtual meetings.  Future decadal and mid-decadal studies will be carried out by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Academies under a separate task.
3. For advisory activities assessed to require a more in-depth review than is possible through the normal operation of the CESAS, the committee will assist the Academies in formulating the task and committee membership for such studies which will be designed as separate tasks. 

The committee is pleased to acknowledge support from NASA for this activity.

View Current Projects

Meetings and Events

March 26-28, 2019
Washington, DC
View Agenda and Presentations I Archive of Space Science Week 2019

December 17-18, 2019
Washington, DC

October 25-26, 2018
Washington, DC

View Agenda and Presentations

March 27-29, 2018
Washington, DC
View Agenda and Presentations

October 23-24, 2017
Boulder, CO
View Agenda and Presentations 


March 28-29, 2017
Washington, DC
View Agenda and Presentations

*These lists of available presentations contain only those which the presenter has agreed to permit its posting on this website.

Current Membership  View Bios

Chelle L. Gentemann, Co-Chair, Earth and Space Research
Steven W. Running, Co-Chair, University of Montana
Nancy L. Baker, Naval Research Laboratory
Molly E. Brown, University of Maryland College Park
Otis B. Brown, North Carolina State University
Ivona Cetinić, Universities Space Research Association / NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
William E. Dietrich, NAS, University of California, Berkeley
Everette Joseph, NCAR
George J. Komar, NASA (retired)
Anna M. Michalak, Stanford University
R. Steven Nerem, University of Colorado, Boulder
Eric J. Rignot, NAS, University of California, Irvine
Christopher S. Ruf, University of Michigan
Duane E. Waliser, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Eric F. Wood, NAE, Princeton University
Ping Yang, Texas A&M University


Arthur Charo, Senior Program Director
Gaybrielle Holbrook, Senior Program Assistant 

Relevant Links

Midterm Assessment (2012)
ESAS Decadal Survey (2007)

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