GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 136-5
Presentation Time: 9:05 AM


HALL, Cynthia, NASA Earth Science Data Systems, 5217 Chicory Ln, North Charleston, SC 29420-7571 and WARD, Kevin, NASA Earth Science Data Systems, 8800 Greenbelt Road,, Greenbelt, MD 20771

As the climate changes and both ocean and atmospheric temperatures increase, the intensity and therefore the impacts of natural disasters are exacerbated. There are more severe tropical cyclones, more extreme weather events, and an increased rate of sea level rise. These increasing and more severe natural disasters affect millions of people around the world. It is imperative that we understand the vulnerability of affected communities in order to aid in the mitigation, prevention, and management of the disasters.

NASA’s Earth science data collections provide a wealth of information to aid in our understanding of natural disasters, and all data are freely and openly available via Because choosing the right datasets and tools to answer scientific questions often requires some guidance, our team at NASA’s Earth Science Data Systems Program have created data pathfinders to help make data access, retrieval, and use easier.

Data Pathfinders present background information with guidance on how NASA observations can be used to aid in the assessment of certain variables, often in near real-time. Pathfinders provide information about the spatial and temporal resolutions of commonly-used datasets and provide direct links to these datasets. In addition, Pathfinders showcase tools that can be used for subsetting, visualizing, analyzing, and exporting data in a variety of file formats.

The series of Disasters Data Pathfinders, including cyclones, earthquakes and volcanoes, extreme heat, flooding, landslides, and wildfires, provide direct links to satellite observations, which can be used to enhance scientific understanding, improve forecast skills, and make more environmentally informed decisions. They provide data and information on assessing conditions prior to an event, monitoring conditions during an event in near real-time, and assessing impacts after an event. The Disasters Data Pathfinders provide data that support understanding the vulnerability and exposure of a community to a disaster providing information to help with response and relief efforts.

Join us to learn more about how data pathfinders can help in your discovery, visualization, and analysis of NASA Earth science data.