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NASA, Philippines forge partnership on climate research

The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration will be teaming up next year with Filipino experts through the US CAMP2Ex Project to undertake a comprehensive effort to map and model the country’s meteorological system aimed at helping the Philippine government to better address its disaster risk reduction and preparedness in times of inclement climate and weather conditions.

This came after a team of scientists from NASA visited the Philippines to participate in National Science and Technology Week where they interacted with Filipino scientists, engineering students, and high school teachers and highlighted NASA’s collaboration with the Philippine government on climate research and weather monitoring.

During their July 14 to 26 visit, NASA scientists were working with Manila Observatory scientists to prepare for next year’s CAMP2Ex Project.

CAMP2Ex, which will begin in mid-2019, is a $20-million partnership that builds on 10 years of US-Philippine collaboration to better understand cloud formation in the western part of the Philippines, one of the world’s most unpredictable geographic regions for weather and climate models, said the statement released by the US Embassy in Manila.

“As part of the project, NASA and Filipino scientists will undertake a comprehensive effort to map and model the meteorological system of the Philippines, generating high-quality data that will inform disaster risk reduction and preparedness,” the statement explained.

The CAMP2Ex project will also connect Philippine scientists and students with more than 40 scientific experts from NASA and top U.S. research universities. Philippine project partners include PAGASA, the Manila Observatory of Ateneo de Manila University, and the University of the Philippines.

While in the Philippines, Dr. Hal Maring, who is NASA’s lead scientist for CAMP2Ex, also visited Subic Bay to mentor more than 200 Philippine STEM teachers on techniques for teaching climate science and meteorology.

“I was impressed by the STEM teachers’ intense interest in inspiring their students. We had a productive time discussing how to teach climate and environmental science to Filipino youth. I have high hopes for the next generation of science leaders,” Dr. Maring said.

Meanwhile, during the NSTW opening ceremony on July 17, NASA and the U.S. Embassy in Manila handed over 336 specialized lenses for mosquito identification to the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Science High Schools Program.

The lenses were provided through the U.S. government-funded Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, a U.S.-led initiative to promote citizen science to fight mosquito-borne diseases in 22 countries, including the Philippines, said the statement released by the US Embassy in Manila.

As part of the NSTW activities, NASA Deputy Chief Technologist Florence Tan participated in a July 20 panel discussion about the use of space technology with Philippine academics, scientists, and government officials. She fielded questions on space debris, prospects for human visitation to Mars, and NASA’s programming in the Philippines.

NSTW, which is organized by the DOST, is a week-long event that brings scientists and students together for five days of activities, presentations, and interactive exhibits on cutting-edge scientific research and technology benefiting the Philippines.

Dr. Maring said: “It was a joy to interact with so many Filipino students and experts excited about science, space technology, and technology in general.”

Topics: United States , National Aeronautics and Space Administration , US CAMP2Ex Project , National Science and Technology Week
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