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GEO News (Issue #14, 17 May 2011)

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  Building a global drought monitoring system of systems
  The US National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) has offered to begin linking together existing regional drought monitoring systems to form a global system of drought monitoring systems. To achieve this it is working in partnership with the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), the European Community’s Joint Research Centre (home of the European Drought Observatory), Deltares, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Continued …
  GEO’s Tohoku-oki (Japan) earthquake supersite
  The tragic 11 March 2011 earthquake offshore northern Japan (known as the Tohoku-oki earthquake) and the tsunami that followed left more than 27,000 dead or missing. The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters provided satellite imagery to support the rescue efforts. The GEO Geohazard Supersite went into action to collect Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) multispectral imagery as well as GPS and seismic data to better understand what exactly happened during the earthquake. Space agencies and other contributors to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) supported these and other actions. 
Continued …
  EuroSITES – an open-ocean observing system for Europe
  EuroSITES is the European component of the international OceanSITES network of deep-water reference stations, providing accurate long-term climate data records of oceanic and surface-atmospheric variables in key ocean regions across Europe. Over the past several years this European Commission-funded contribution to GEOSS has worked to coordinate, integrate and enhance Europe’s ocean observatories and establish a single portal for access to interoperable datasets. Continued …
  How EBONE improves biodiversity observation
  The European Biodiversity Observation network (EBONE) project is supported under the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and has just entered its fourth and final year. EBONE is the European contribution to the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network, or GEO BON. While GEO BON also covers marine and freshwater biodiversity, EBONE concentrates on terrestrial habitats. Continued …
  Recommended visualization & communication tools
  A number of governments and organizations have produced innovative communication tools, initiatives and visualizations for communicating the use and benefits of Earth observations. To improve access to such tools and inspire others to develop their own, the GEO Secretariat has posted a web page featuring links to a selection of these videos and visualizations. Please send an email to the GEO Secretariat if you are able to recommend additional links.
  Work Plan Symposium reviews the 2012-2015 Work Plan
  This year’s GEO Work Plan Symposium convened over 100 participants from 35 GEO Members and Participating Organizations from 4 to 6 May in Geneva. The participants reviewed Version 0 of the new Work Plan and explored related management options. Summaries of the Symposium outcomes are available online. These outcomes, together with technical review comments received from the GEO community by 26 May and recommendations from the Executive Committee, will be incorporated into the draft Work Plan. This Version 1 of the 2012-2015 Work Plan will then be distributed to governments and organizations for official review in late June.
  Executive Committee addresses Work Plan, Data-CORE
  The GEO Executive Committee met in Geneva on 22-23 March to discuss progress on the 2009-2011 Work Plan, the development of the 2012-2015 Work Plan, the GEOSS Data-CORE, data sharing, the GEO Trust Fund, a communications plan, forest carbon tracking, the role of the private sector, and other priority issues. Continued …
  User Interface Committee meets during ISRSE
  The User Interface Committee (UIC) held its 18th meeting in Sydney, Australia, on 7 and 8 April in conjunction with the 34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of the Environment (ISRSE).  Much of the meeting was devoted to discussing Version 0 of the 2012-2015 GEO Work Plan. Continued …
  Building a user-driven GEOSS
  The workshop on "Building a User-Driven GEOSS: Methods to Capture, Analyze, and Prioritize User Needs," held in Sydney, Australia, on 10 April, focused on promoting a truly user-driven development of GEOSS by assessing current and other potentially useful approaches to identifying user needs. Continued …
  STC addresses tasks, resource gaps and roadmap
  The 16th meeting of the GEO Science and Technology Committee (STC), hosted by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Sydney, Australia, on 14-15 April, reviewed the STC Tasks ST-09-01 on Catalyzing Research and Development (R&D) Resources for GEOSS and ST-09-02 on Promoting Awareness and Benefits of GEO in the Science and Technology Community, the development of a GEOSS Citation Standard, and the European Commission’s FP7 Coordination and Support Action (CSA) EGIDA project, which is designed to support implementation of the STC Roadmap. Continued …
  Health and Environment Community of Practice assesses progress
  The Health and Environment Community of Practice held its third workshop in Geneva on 29-31 March to discuss progress of the various tasks and initiatives and to prepare for the GEO 2012-2015 Work Plan. Continued …
  Nominations invited for Will T. Pecora Award
  The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) jointly sponsor the award. Continued …
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