Given the IEEE’s technical scope and global presence, our 375,000 members have a tremendous opportunity to contribute. In fact, our members are already involved in a number of such projects. For example, the IEEE Committee on Earth Observation has since 2005 been involved in the International Group on Earth Observations and its effort to create a Global Earth Observation System of Systems.
Three interlocking international science years – International Polar Year, International Heliospherical Year, and the Electronic Geophysical Year – are inspiring intense global collaboration and coordinated investment. Earthzine takes a close look at one of its core programs, Heliosphere Impact on Geospace, thatÌÄå_s spinning out a blizzard of new data on Earth’s geomagnetic phenomena.
An expert on the behavior of the upper atmosphere, Mahlman led the development of one of the first global climate models, for which he received the American Geophysical Union’s Carl-Gustav Rossby Medal, its highest honor. Mahlman chaired the Earth System Science and Applications Advisory Committee for NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth program in the 1990s and was involved in the founding of the IPCC; He created the so-called betting odds scheme used by IPCC to evaluate uncertainty and was a reviewer of the Working Group I report for IPCC’s 2007 assessment.
Engineering and humanity? Some might say that the two words don’t belong in the same sentence. Many outside the engineering profession do not think of engineering as a “caring” profession dedicated to creating positive effect for society and the global environment. What’s happening between the IEEE and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is showing how the commitment of engineers can be directed toward improving our lives and those of our children and future generations. IEEE members around the globe are using their skills to support GEO’s development of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS. In doing so, they are tying engineering to basic needs of humankind – food, water, shelter, and security.
The noted British astronomer Fred Hoyle predicted shortly after the launch of Sputnik in October, 1957 that when we humans could obtain a picture of Earth from deep space, life here would never be the same. This was a time in history when the average Westerner’s concept of the universe was hardly more sophisticated than “God in the heavens, man in the middle and everything else below.” That is to say that only a very few scientists had foresight as to the extent and complexity of the cosmos that would be revealed following the arrival of the space age and its modern technologies.
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