the innovation community to create apps that use federal climate data to help local communities prepare for the effects of climate change and protect our ecosystems. Image Credit: NASA

NASA Climate Challenge: Create Apps, Help US Cope, Win Prizes

With the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA has offered $35,000 in prizes to create apps which use US climate data. The contest, called the Climate Resilience Data Challenge offers prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that will help the United States cope with climate change.

The Climate Resilience Data Challenge, conducted through the NASA Tournament Lab, a partnership with Harvard University hosted on Appirio/Topcoder is all set to kick off Monday, December 15 and runs through March 2015.

As per a statement released by NASA, the challenge supports the efforts of the White House Climate Data Initiative, a broad effort to leverage the federal government’s extensive, freely available climate-relevant data resources to spur innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in order to advance awareness of and preparedness for the impacts of climate change.

The US faces a number of challenges as the result of climate change, coastal flooding and weather-related hazards that threaten lives and property, increased disruptions to agriculture, prolonged drought that adversely affects food security and water availability and ocean acidification capable of damaging ecosystems and biodiversity.

Using climate data to address these and other climate risks is what the challenge hopes to address. The challenge was declared by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on December 9.

“Federal agencies, such as NASA and the USGS, traditionally focus on developing world-class science data to support scientific research, but the rapid growth in the innovation community presents new opportunities to encourage wider usage and application of science data to benefit society,” said Kevin Murphy from NASA Earth Science Data Systems.

He added, “We need tools that utilize federal data to help our local communities improve climate resilience, protect our ecosystems and prepare for the effects of climate change.”

The challenge begins with an ideation stage for data-driven application pitches, followed by storyboarding and, finally, prototyping of concepts with the greatest potential. The Climate Resilience Data Challenge is managed by NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation at NASA Headquarters, Washington.


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