Introducing the UA Earth Dynamics Observatory

EDO group members pose for a photo on the Biosphere 2 beach

Following an inaugural Retreat at Biosphere 2 in January of this year, EDO now comprises a group of 20+ faculty from the Departments of Geosciences, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, as well as the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, the College of Optical Sciences, and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. The group is coordinated by an executive committee (EEC) that includes Geos faculty Rick Bennett (EEC Chair), Chris Harig, and Jack Holt as well as six other faculty representing the other units in the group.

So what will EDO do? EDO is creating a third pillar supporting the UA space sciences platform, complementing the upward-looking Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and Steward Observatory with a downward-looking view to our home planet, Earth. In the next decade EDO will become the preeminent academic center of excellence in Earth remote sensing, with leadership roles in new satellite missions, in order to:

A Ven diagram showing the many aspects of EDO.Address the global imperative to monitor and predict changes to the Earth system.

► Inform hazards mitigation and national security in the face of natural disasters, a changing climate, and other environmental stresses as the world’s population approaches 10 billion people toward the end of this century.

► Lead partnerships among university, federal, regional, and commercial organizations toward a sustainable future.

► Enlighten and inspire the community through inclusive excellence in education, community outreach, and scientific communication.

We expect to compete successfully for multiple instrument and mission opportunities in excess of $30M. We are preparing to compete at every level, including the staged and interleaved NASA calls for Incubator, Earth System Explorer, and Venture class instrument and mission development.

What began as a Geoscience led cluster hire of six faculty in Earth remote sensing has coalesced into a team of 20+ highly motivated faculty bonded by a think-big culture that is shattering traditional, discipline-based silos. Continued growth in EDO will strengthen our potential to compete for more costly Earth-based satellite opportunities.  We envision EDO rising to the highest levels of achievement as we gain 10+ years of technology development expertise, build networks, and demonstrate a record of success.