WASHINGTON, February 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — NASA awards $11.7 million to eight historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the new Data Science Equity, Access, and Priority in Research and Education (DEAP) opportunity. These awards will enable HBCU students and faculty to conduct innovative data science research that will contribute to NASA missions.
“We are thrilled to move forward through awards like this to intentionally build the STEM pipeline of the future, especially in communities of color,” the NASA Deputy Administrator said. Pam Melroy. “It’s fitting during Black History Month that we’re taking this tangible step to bolster HBCU’s talent pool in our ongoing work to bring to the table all the talent and perspectives we’ll need to send humans on the Moon, Mars and beyond, and doing amazing science all over the solar system.”
Technological advancements in the field of data science, including the growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning, are poised to have a significant impact on the work of data scientists and analysts. Awarded projects have up to three years to establish institutes and partnerships to increase the number and research capacity of STEM students in HBCUs, accelerate innovation in a wide range of scientific research areas , technology, engineering, and mathematics at NASA and to prepare the future workforce. for data-intensive space-based Earth sciences.
“The growing use of data science at NASA and beyond really highlights the need for a future workforce with data science literacy,” said Mike Kincaid, Associate Administrator of NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, which manages MUREP. “Through our new collaboration, NASA has created an exciting path to finding new talent in HBCUs.”
The agency’s Minority Universities Research and Education Project (MUREP) and the Science Mission Directorate collaborated on the DEAP opportunity and selected the following institutions and their proposed projects:
Bethune-Cookman University Inc., Daytona BeachFlorida
NASA MUREP DEAP Institute of Environmental Intelligence for Advanced Space-based Earth Sciences
The project will establish a DEAP Institute focusing on the machine learning-based development of a virtual constellation of satellites that will capture changing water levels, events such as storm floods at multi-decadal time scales, such as than sea level rise. NASA tracks sea level changes and their causes from space.
Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, North Carolina
Institute for Multi-Agent Perception through Advanced Cyber-Physical Technologies (IMPACT)
The IMPACT project will build on existing capacity and collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Silicon Valley, Californiato inspire students and faculty to use data science to address scientific questions as one of the key factors in NASA Earth Mission Research Management.
Florida A&M UniversityTallahassee, Florida
Effects of gravity on creeping salts and salt mixtures: development of image-based and AI-enhanced diagnostics to determine chemical compositions
This project will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to better understand the science of concentrated salt solutions and the formation of ring-shaped deposits called evaporites. Understanding the science of salt concentrations and evaporite formation will provide new insights into identifying where water may have existed. Water is a critical source that NASA seeks and explores to better understand the surface geology of other planets and the potential future of lunar and Mars exploration.
Lincoln University, Jefferson CityMissouri
Using data science to understand soils, wildfires, and the social disparity of climate change and air pollution
This project aims to provide data science problem solving, skills building, and professional development for minority and underserved students. Students will use existing state-of-the-art ML methods to develop new data analytical approaches to solve some of the fundamental problems in Earth science research.
Morgan State UniversityBaltimore
Long-term, high-resolution database of urban aerosols for research, education and awareness
Using innovative data analysis algorithms, including ML/AI methods, this project will produce an open-access, user-friendly, high-resolution urban aerosol database focused on the Baltimore-Washington area. The database will also be used for both classroom teaching and science outreach, along with online tools and educational materials bringing authentic new earth science education to schools and local communities.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, GreensboroNorth Carolina
DEAP Institute: Harnessing Data Science for Flood Monitoring and Management
Three North CarolinaLondon-based HBCUs will work together on this project developed to harness data science for flood monitoring and management.
North Carolina Central University, DurhamNorth Carolina
Building capacity to support machine learning-based detection of flooding and other natural hazard impacts at the Department of Environmental, Earth, and Geospatial Sciences at Central North Carolina University
This project will create training, data resources, and opportunities for using machine learning/artificial intelligence to identify and measure the impact of floods and other natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, forest fires, etc.
Prairie View A&M University, View of the meadowsTexas
DEAP Institute in Research and Education for Science Translation via Low-Resource Neural Machine Translation
This project aims to build an AI-based system that can share interactive, instantaneous, and relevant Earth science information, making NASA science more discoverable and accessible to a wide audience.
“NASA is grappling with how to use the latest data science techniques combined with the volumes of data produced by our missions to answer questions about our changing planet,” said Steven Crawford, senior program director for scientific data and informatics. “Working with HBCU students will not only engage the generation that will be most affected by these topics, but will help NASA scientists and engineers meet these challenges.”
Administered by OSTEM, MUREP supports and invests in the research, academic and technological capacities of institutions serving minorities. For more information on NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, visit: