““Out of sight, out of mind” goes the common saying, yet what people can’t see can have an important impact on their well-being. Invisible gases including nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone negatively affect human health, and satellites offer the best means of tracking those atmospheric pollutants. NASA maintains the world’s largest constellation of Earth-observing satellites, the data from which are made freely available to the public.
Despite the power of those eyes in the sky, many potential users of NASA’s satellite data don’t know how to employ them or may not even be aware of their existence. To build a wider community of data users, NASA recently launched a three-year initiative called the Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (HAQAST), led by Tracey Holloway of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The goal is to get relevant NASA satellite tools and data into the hands of the public-health and air-quality communities.”
HAQAST Communications Coordinator Daegan Miller published a piece in Physics Today profiling HAQAST and the work of Talat Odman and HAQAST Members Ted Russell, Frank Freedman and Arlene Fiore, in particular.