NASA Harvest and NASA eClips recently collaborated to film an educational series of videos for eClips’ Ask SMEs series. The video focused on different NASA Harvest SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), their respective skill sets, and how their passion for science motivates their work.
Funded by the NASA Science Mission Directorate, NASA eClips creates educational videos and resources designed to introduce and engage students with STEM concepts. They’re previous work has won numerous awards for its educational content, including a 2019 Regional Emmy for the Ask SMEs series.
With agriculture as the eClips team’s 2021 theme, they teamed up with NASA Harvest to produce videos combining our SME’s expertise and passion to engage and educate the scientists of tomorrow. NASA Harvest’s Program Director, Dr. Inbal Becker-Reshef, was excited to work with the eClips team saying, “Making STEM education interesting and engaging from an early age is really important. eClips has done an excellent job of doing just that and I’m excited that we were able to contribute and share a little of our own stories through the eClips videos and to demonstrate how remote sensing is used for monitoring agriculture across the globe”.
In her feature, Dr. Becker-Reshef describes her journey and how her travels as a child helped her choose a career in science over her passion for art. She shares how cameras on satellites provide data to help farmers and agricultural leaders grow more food and work toward food security worldwide. “My own daughter is learning about climate change, deforestation and its drivers in her elementary school and she gets very engaged and curious about our planet and our impact on it when we look together at satellite imagery and maps of deforestation.” Dr. Becker-Reshef shared. “This inspires her and makes her much more aware of the consequences of our everyday actions on our environment. The eClips program provides a wonderful opportunity to introduce other children to how satellite imagery can help us make better decisions in support of our planet, agricultural lands, and food security.”
Dr. Catherine Nakalembe, the Lead of NASA Harvest’s Africa Program was also featured. Dr. Nakalembe's video focuses on her passion for helping farmers around the world through the use of NASA satellites to monitor crops from space to increase sustainability. She also describes how her love for hiking, photography, and travel supports her work. “I hope it can inspire more kids to enter the geosciences and give them a peek into the joys of doing scientific work that helps improve lives everyday!”
Our last SME is Dr. Hannah Kerner, NASA Harvest’s AI Lead and U.S. Domestic Co-Lead. Dr. Kerner said she hopes “that students watching the eClips videos will be inspired to envision what their lives can be like in the future and also feel a lot closer to the satellites orbiting our planet every day.”. Dr. Kerner's video shares her experiences in writing code and developing machine learning algorithms that enable NASA satellites to monitor where food is being grown. She describes how her hobbies of hiking, scuba diving, and volunteering intersect with her work.