Networking Friday with Danielle Wood (MIT Media Lab)

On August 21st, 2020, 1-2 PM UTC, we met Danielle Wood, Director of the Space Enabled Research Group, Assistant Professor of Media Arts & Sciences and Aeronautics & Astronautics, Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She will talk about Sustainability in Space and on Earth: Research Initiatives of the Space Enabled Group. The moderator was Hayley Evers-King, from EUMETSAT.

Danielle Wood serves as an Assistant Professor in Media Arts & Sciences and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Within the MIT Media Lab, Danielle leads the Space Enabled Research Group which seeks to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. Danielle is a scholar of societal development with a background that includes satellite design, earth science applications, systems engineering, and technology policy. In her research, she applies these skills to design innovative systems that harness space technology to address development challenges around the world. Prior to serving as faculty at MIT, Danielle held positions at NASA Headquarters, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Aerospace Corporation, Johns Hopkins University, and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. Danielle studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a PhD in engineering systems, SM in aeronautics and astronautics, SM in technology policy, and SB in aerospace engineering.

Danielle’s presentation will be about her work of the Space Enabled Research Group at the MIT Media Lab. The mission of the Space Enabled Research Group is to advance justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space. The Group’s message is that six types of space technology are supporting societal needs, as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These six technologies include satellite earth observation, satellite communication, satellite positioning, microgravity research, technology transfer, and the infrastructure related to space research and education. While much good work has been done, barriers remain that limit the application of space technology as a tool for sustainable development. The Space Enabled Research Group works to increase the opportunities to apply space technology in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and to support space sustainability. The research applies six methods, including design thinking, art, social science, complex systems, satellite engineering and data science. The Space Enabled Research Group pursue its work by collaborating with development leaders who represent multilateral organizations, national and local governments, non-profits and entrepreneurial firms to identify opportunities to apply space technology in their work. They strive to enable a more just future in which every community can easily and affordably apply space technology. The work toward their mission covers three themes:

  1. Research to apply existing space technology to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals;
  2. Research to design space systems that are accessible and sustainable; and
  3. Research to study the relationship between technology design and justice.

The presentation will give examples of research projects within each of these themes.

Relevant links:

Hayley Evers-King is a marine applications expert at EUMETSAT in the User support and Climate Services division. She provides user support and training on ocean applications of satellite data, and manages feedback between user(s) and operational satellite agencies, mostly in support of the European Commission Copernicus Programme. Her research background covers the use of optics to derive information about the oceans. She has worked throughout the satellite data value chain from the validation of satellite sensor measurements, to algorithm development and data use for various applications including harmful algal blooms, ocean heat flux, carbon pools, climate model validation and marine spatial planning. She is a keen programmer, focusing exclusively on open source tools, and a passionate science communicator seeking novel ways to use new media to share science with new satellite data users and the public. Prior to her current role, Hayley worked for 5 years as a Marine Earth Observation Scientist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory. She obtained a PhD in ocean remote sensing from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2014.

We will continue with the Networking Fridays during the next months. More information about future sessions as well as presentations and videos from previous sessions can be found here. Twitter Hashtag: #netfridays. Expect some very exciting afternoons, or mornings or evenings, depending on where you are…

If you need any additional information please send an email to Jose Luiz Moutinho.

Danielle Wood

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