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The Decadal Survey provides scientific priorities indirectly through a time sequencing of recommended missions. It is a first-ever comprehensive survey of all Earth sciences that could benefit from spaceborne observations. The study is requested and supported by NASA, NOAA, USGS. The final NRC Report was released 15 January 2007.

Objective of the Decadal Survey


National Research Council Decadal Survey

In 2004, the National Research Council (NRC) received requests from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Earth Science, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geography Division to conduct a decadal survey to generate consensus recommendations from the Earth and environmental science and applications communities regarding a systems approach to the space-based and ancillary observations encompassing the research programs of NASA, the related operational programs of NOAA, and associated programs.

Survey Process

Seven Thematically-Organized Panels

  1. Earth Science Applications and Societal Needs
  2. Land-use Change, Ecosystem Dynamics and Biodiversity
  3. Weather (including space weather and chemical weather)
  4. Climate Variability and Change
  5. Water Resources and the Global Hydrologic Cycle
  6. Human Health and Security
  7. Solid-Earth Hazards, Resources and Dynamics

Criteria of Prioritization

Scientific and Societal Imperatives


Technology development in support of missions

Leverage International Efforts

Manage Technology Risk

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