NASA and the U.S Geological Survey (USGS) have data. Big data! Together the two organizations have amassed a wealth of open-access climate-related data and now they are calling on citizen-scientists to help make best use of it through the Climate Resilience Data Challenge. The Challenge’s goal is “to imagine new applications of climate data to address climate vulnerabilities.” And as if lending NASA a helping hand wasn’t exciting enough, the Challenge is offering a prize pool of $35,000 for the most innovative ideas. Read on for details.


NASA climate data challenge

The Climate Resilience Data Challenge considers vulnerabilities to include “coastal flooding and weather-related hazards that threaten lives and property, increased disruptions to agriculture, prolonged drought that adversely affects food security and water availability, and ocean acidification capable of damaging ecosystems and biodiversity.” The Challenge is aimed at unlocking the potential of all the organizations’ accumulated climate data to address these and other climate risks.

Related: White House Launches Climate Science Data Website to Help Communities Prepare for Climate Change

The Challenge supports the efforts of the White House Climate Data Initiative. This is a broader effort to “leverage the federal government’s extensive, freely available climate-relevant data resources to spur innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in order to advance awareness of and preparedness for the impacts of climate change.” Got that? It means that your creative, out-of-the-box thinking and skillsets can be applied to find some really practical and relevant uses for all that climate data. Think helpful and user-friendly apps, for example.

The Challenge will run through three stages. The first is an “ideation stage” for data-driven application pitches in which competitors propose their new applications for climate data to address climate vulnerabilities. This will be followed by a story-boarding stage, and, last but not least, there’ll be prototyping of the concepts with the greatest potential. There are three competitive classes based on different data sources: NASA data, federal data from agencies such as the USGS, and any open data.

Related: NASA Launches First Mission to Track Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

The Climate Resilience Data Challenge is conducted through the NASA Tournament Lab, which is a partnership with Harvard University hosted on Appirio/Topcoder. The Challenge kicked off on Monday, 15 December, 2014, with stage one closing 18 January, 2015, so be quick! For further information and links for registration, please visit the Topcoder website.

+ Register here

+ Climate Resilience Data Challenge

Images via NASA and Topcoder