How remote sensing data from the NASA Earth observation satellites can be used in conjunction with socioeconomic data to improve assessment of urbanization patterns and trends was one of two main topics addressed in a technical interchange meeting organized by SEDAC, the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center operated by CIESIN, May 8–9 in Washington, D.C. The second topic was the potential role of NASA data centers like SEDAC in supporting the development of a system of indicators for the U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA), a Congressionally-mandated assessment of climate change and its impacts in the United States.
As part of the meeting, two parallel breakout sessions were held with members from the SEDAC User Working Group (UWG) and the UWG of the Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), to take advantage of their combined expertise and understanding of remote sensing and socioeconomic data. Experts from NASA, the NCA, other NASA data centers, and the World Bank also participated in person and by teleconference. Later in the meeting, SEDAC manager Robert Chen, deputy manager Alex de Sherbinin, and lead project scientist Marc Levy briefed the SEDAC UWG on recent activities and progress, including improvements to the SEDAC Web site and the expanding range of scientific citations of SEDAC data.
The SEDAC UWG is chaired by Molly Macauley of Resources for the Future. The UWG provides strategic advice and guidance to SEDAC and NASA and reviews SEDAC data development and dissemination plans.