UMD’s Busalacchi Named Co-Chair of NRC’s Decadal Survey for Earth Observations

By: Media Relations Contact: Matthew Wright, 301-405-9267,
Publisher: College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Published: August 31, 2015

Antonio Busalacchi, professor of atmospheric and ocean science at the University of Maryland and director of the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, has been appointed co-chair of the National Research Council’s Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space.

The survey committee will develop priorities and support observation activities for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey from 2018 through 2027. A new generation of U.S. satellites will enable these agencies to bolster observations of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces, with critical guidance from the NRC committee.

“This study comes at a critical time for Earth System Science across NASA, NOAA, and the USGS, as the efforts of the past few decades have ushered in a golden era of Earth remote sensing, but we have yet to determine how best to sustain this enterprise across basic research, applied research, applications, and operations,” Busalacchi said.

Satellites and other Earth observing instruments are necessary to safeguard society from natural disasters. They play critical roles in issuing accurate weather forecasts, monitoring the effects of a changing climate, and assessing the impacts of solar storms. The NRC survey committee will also assess the progress that has been made in addressing the major scientific and application challenges outlined in the Earth Science Decadal Survey, completed in 2007.

"Dr. Busalacchi’s thoughtful and committed approach to Earth System Science makes him an ideal leader for the National Research Council’s Decadal Survey at a time when NASA, NOAA and USGS need scientific guidance for the critical next decade of observations,” said Colleen Hartman, director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Busalacchi is also chair of UMD’s Council on the Environment and a trustee of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR). An oceanographer and climate expert, Busalacchi’s extensive National Research Council service includes terms as chair of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the BASC Climate Research Committee; chair of the Panel on Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft; and co-chair of the Committee on National Security Implications of Climate Change on U.S. Naval Forces.

“Dr. Busalacchi perfectly embodies the spirit of leadership and intellectual rigor that we strive to cultivate here at the University of Maryland,” said Jayanth Banavar, Dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences. “We are tremendously proud of his appointment to the NRC survey committee, and know that the committee will be in excellent hands with Dr. Busalacchi sharing the helm.”


This article is adapted from a press release issued by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).

Reprinted from College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences with permission.