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NASA Launches OpenNEX: An Open Computing Platform, Educational Forum and Competition for Ideas on Climate Resiliency

Friday, June 27th 2014
By Joe Francica

This past week, NASA's Office of Science and Technology Policy launched OpenNEX, a program to engage both the scientific community and citizens on climate resiliency. The program consists of online lectures on climate change, labs on the basics of remote sensing and cloud computing as well as a competition to submit ideas "to give the public an opportunity to create innovative ways to use data from the agency’s Earth science satellites," according to the NASA press release.

The OpenNEX challenge offiically opens on July 1. Participants in the lecture series can watch noted scientists discuss climate modeling, the impact of climate change on agriculture and forestry and water resources. There are both virtual workshops as well as lab exercises that would require the user to establish an Amazon Web Services account but it provides access to a cloud-based image processor.

The OpenNEX Challenge is described as follows:

The first "ideation" stage of the challenge, which runs July 1 through Aug. 1, offers as much as $10,000 in awards for ideas on novel uses of the datasets. The second "builder" stage, beginning in August, will offer between $30,000 and $50,000 in awards for the development of an application or algorithm that promotes climate resilience using the OpenNEX data, based on ideas from the first stage of the challenge. NASA will announce the overall challenge winners in December.

OpenNEX follows several White House initiatives on open data, big data and climate change. 

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