EPA Commits to Partnership for Long-Term Research on Remote-Sensing Data from Space Satellites

[EPA press release - March 10, 1995]

As part of the effort to reinvent government, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today signed a memorandum of understanding with three other federal agencies committing to advanced, long-term research using remote-sensing data from space satellites. The partnership is designed to reduce duplication and streamline the research process, saving the government $30 million in purchasing costs and preparation of the data, including archiving, management and data distribution.

Joining EPA in the agreement are the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of the Interior's National Biological Service (NBS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The partnership, known as the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristic Consortium, will collaborate on research and the development of a flexible land characteristics database to be used by the consortium and other federal, state and local organizations. The data will aid scientists in monitoring environmental changes over time and will be used to develop information to help government and industry make better-informed environmental decisions.

Under the agreement, the agencies will work together to develop new remote-sensing methodologies for use in environmental monitoring projects; share satellite data sets and training programs; and coordinate scientific review and planning.

"The agreement combines our agencies' different but complementary scientific expertise to best advantage," said Dr. Robert J. Huggett, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Research and Development. "By avoiding duplication of effort, sharing data available only through U.S. space technology, and planning ahead to use the same information for many different purposes, we are pooling our resources wisely to achieve far-reaching results. I congratulate EPA's Dr. Denice Shaw and her colleagues for the intensive effort toward reinventing government that led to this timely agreement."