Title of Presentation: SERVIR at the Age of Four: The Development of an Environmental Monitoring and Visualization System for Mesoamerica

Primary (Corresponding) Author: Danny Hardin

Organization of Primary Author: The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Co-Authors: Daniel Irwin


Abstract: SERVIR is a REASoN project that has succeeded in bringing together remote sensed data from NASA’s Earth Science missions and regional information held by the countries of Central America with advanced information technology applications to realize a regional, environmental monitoring and visualization system that is giving decision makers in Mesoamerica powerful capabilities to manage their environmental resources and to respond to natural disasters. Since the dedication of the operational node of SERVIR in Panama City, Panama in February of 2004, the SERVIR project has developed into a sophisticated system that is providing information on a daily basis. Since its inception SERVIR has responded to several natural disasters by rapidly providing data products that have been used in response efforts. These include Hurricane Stan in 2004 and a massive flood event in November 2006 in Panama.  Other information products are widely used in many day-to-day activities including commercial fishing in El Salvador and tourism in Panama. From the initial group of partners funded by the REASoN program, USAID and the World Bank SERVIR has added many additional partners – most not directly funded - who have created valuable information products for the region. This network of partners continues to grow and there are currently several efforts under discussion to extend the capabilities of SERVIR to other regions on the globe. 

The Information Technology and Systems Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville has been a SERVIR partner since its inception. Teamed with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Science Systems and Applications Inc. ITSC has contributed much of the infrastructure and IT capabilities that have united the regional communities and enabled their common access to a broad array of decision support products and applications for visualization and display. This paper provides an overview of the SERVIR project with emphasis on the underlying information technologies and applications that have been developed and are currently in use.