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NASA DEVELOP National Program

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NASA DEVELOP National Program
Seal of the DEVELOP Program
220 px
Logo of the DEVELOP Program
Program overview
FormedJune 1, 1999; 21 years ago (1999-06-01)
HeadquartersNASA Langley Research Center
37°4′59.47″N 76°20′30.47″W / 37.0831861°N 76.3417972°W / 37.0831861; -76.3417972
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MottoScience serving society
Program executives
  • Michael Ruiz, Program Manager
  • Lindsay Rogers, Assistant Program Manager
Parent ProgramNASA Applied Sciences Program
WebsiteNASA DEVELOP National Program

DEVELOP is a training and development program sponsored by NASA's Earth Science Applied Sciences Program. Headquartered at Langley Research Center, DEVELOP has teams at thirteen locations around the country. Participants work with advisers and mentors to learn about the application of NASA Earth Science and remote sensing during three 10-week terms each year.

DEVELOP is based in the Earth Science Mission, which has the goal to "Develop a scientific understanding of Earth’s system and its response to natural or human-induced changes, and to improve prediction of climate, weather, and natural hazards." With a unique focus on community concerns, DEVELOP offers participants the chance to work with remote sensing to research real-world problems.

History of DEVELOP[edit]

In 1998, two students participating in the Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars (LARSS) Program and one student participating in the Summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program (SHARP) at NASA Langley Research Center co-authored the white paper Practical Applications of Remote Sensing (Bauer et al., 1998).[1] At that time, the Digital Earth Initiative, a federal inter-agency project dedicated to creating a virtual representation of the Earth to further human understanding of the world, was piloting an effort to increase public access to federal information about the Earth and the environment. A proposal combining NASA’s Digital Earth Initiative and the students’ paper advocated the formation of a student program, and in 1999 DEVELOP was formed.

Team Locations[edit]

Locations based at NASA Centers:

  • Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA
  • Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA
  • Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD
  • Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, MS
  • Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA

Regional US locations:

  • Mobile County Health Department, Mobile, AL
  • Wise County Clerk of Court Office, Wise, VA
  • North Central Climate Science Center, Fort Collins, CO
  • Center for Geospatial Research, UGA, Athens, GA

International Locations:

  • Tecnologico de Monterry (Monterrey Tech), Campus Saltillo, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico
  • International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal

Each team location varies in size and participant educational background.

Dual Capacity[edit]

The Applied Sciences’ DEVELOP National Program addresses environmental and public policy issues through interdisciplinary research projects that apply NASA Earth observations to community concerns around the globe. DEVELOP bridges the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, building capacity in both its participants and partner organizations to better prepare them to handle the challenges that face our society and future generations.

Science Projects[edit]

Participants work during a ten-week term on an Earth observation application project. Past DEVELOP projects are available for viewing on the DEVELOP website.

Project characteristics and creation vary based on location and partner needs. But all projects have the following characteristics:

  • Utilize NASA Earth Observations
  • Highlight the capabilities of NASA satellite and airborne Earth remote sensing science and technology
  • Address community concerns relating to environmental issues
  • Align with at least one of the nine NASA Applied Sciences Program's Application Areas
  • Partner with a decision-making organization (local, state, regional, federal, international, academic, and/or non-governmental), who can benefit from using NASA EOS to enhance their decision making process
  • Meet partner needs by providing decision support tools

More information on the DEVELOP project cycle can be found on their website.

DEVELOP Admissions[edit]

Admission to the program is based upon a competitive application process. Applications are accepted through an online application system available on the DEVELOP website (http://develop.larc.nasa.gov/). Eligible applicants must be 18 years of age with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale at their most recent educational institute. DEVELOP accepts applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds including currently enrolled students, recent graduates, early and transitioning career professionals, and transitioning veterans. Anyone with a strong interest in NASA's Earth observation resources, remote sensing, GIS, and Earth science is encouraged to apply.


  1. Practical Applications of Remote Sensing (Bauer et al., 1998), Space & Atmospheric Sciences Program Group, Space Projects Office, August 5, 1998.

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