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National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System Applications Initiative

The overarching objective of the applications effort is to broaden and strengthen the knowledge and engagement of the research and applications communities within the Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) initiative.  The focus of the activity is to engage with the environmental and climate community, including operational agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector, to ensure that the current and planned CMS science outcomes and data products are used in decision-making contexts. Community engagement will allow both scientists and stakeholders to explore areas where CMS might contribute to addressing key data gaps relevant to societal needs across many scales.

The applications initiative addresses two key priorities for understanding stakeholder interests and requirements for CMS prototyping efforts: 1) to understand and engage the user community and stakeholders involved in developing carbon monitoring products, and 2) to evaluate current and planned NASA CMS products with regards to their value for decision making by appropriate users.  Description of user requirements and needs will be communicated to the CMS science community to help guide prototype development and CMS product generation. The CMS Applications initiative will also develop and foster a diverse range of participatory methodologies to encourage the joint translation of science capabilities and user needs.

For the CMS Applications effort, the following specific activities and initiatives will be undertaken:

  • Hosting of interactive workshops and webinars to engage the CMS user community;
  • Hosting of a ‘Policy Speaker Series’ to engage and inform the CMS science community;
  • Establishment of a CMS Early Adopter Program for institutions and organizations who have an immediate use of the CMS product(s);
  • Evaluation of the utility and integration of CMS data products (current and planned), including the CMS Applications effort itself;
  • Development of CMS Products Fact Sheet through interaction with the CMS science community and Science Definition Team; and
  • Supporting the needs of carbon, biomass, forest and monitoring user communities.

The applications initiative is a result of experience from the 2011 CMS pilot program. The CMS community deemed it crucial to its mission goals that there be an organized series of policy sessions, workshops, and meetings that will provide information about the relevant communities and policy applications for CMS products. During the 2011-funded effort, communities were pulled together to discuss the development and implementation of carbon science products at local, state, and federal scales.  CMS Applications also conducted a series of interviews with science team members and communicated the most up-to-date products information and uncertainties to communities of interest through venues such as the CMS website and government reports.

As part of the 2013 CMS effort, the Applications Team will connect CMS data products (land, ocean and flux) with relevant decision-making/policy bodies at the local scale to guide the development and application of the product. The CMS Applications team will develop a CMS Applications Committee to help guide the development of CMS products towards direct and actionable users. The communities of users will be defined for all CMS products at a variety of scales, in both policy and operational domains. The Applications Team will also define the user requirements and communicate them to the CMS Science Definition Team (SDT), so each project within the CMS Phase 2b effort can work within a known framework of user application/policy requirements moving forward. Because the CMS Applications Team is bringing forward this information to the CMS SDT projects, there will be a dynamic interplay between the end users and CMS product developers. The CMS Applications Team will reach out to external partners and help demonstrate how CMS is achieving tangible societal benefits through its specific product applications.