NASA tools, applications and research can help organizations better manage fires before, during, and after they occur. Whether you’re a researcher, concerned citizen or decision maker, our resources can help you gain a deeper understanding of wildfires throughout their lifecycle. The tools, resources and data available below are valuable aids for managing fire in all its stages. For this competition, some aspect of existing NASA capabilities, assets, or resources must be utilized within your proposal.
NASA EJ and Wildfire Resources
The NASA Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) Program’s Environmental Justice Data Catalog is your guide to datasets that may be useful in environmental justice research. Datasets are organized based on their environmental justice indicator (such as disasters, urban flooding, extreme heat, and food availability) and the possible use cases for each dataset.
  1. Dedicated Programs:
  1. Data:
  1. Trainings:
  1. Resources:
  1. Reports:
  1. Wildfire Projects:
Project Type
Thematic focus
Satellite Earth Observations
Assessment of Wildland Fire-Related Environmental Exposure Issues Impacting Vulnerable Populations in California
Dr. Joseph L. Wilkins, Dr. Miriam Marlier
Landscape Analysis
Wildfires; Air Quality; Heat
- Suomi NPP (VIIRS)
Can remote data connect us to the land? A landscape analysis for braiding satellite-based information and indigenous knowledge in California
Jeanne Fernandez (MSc), Bart Wickel (PhD)
Landscape Analysis
Wildfires; Heat; Water
- MODIS Aqua and Terra
- Landsat 5-9
Assessing accessibility, inequities, and barriers using NASA and other wildfire communication tools in Environmental Justice communities
Kerry Grimm, Rachell Mitchell, Temuulen Tsagaan
Feasibility Study
- NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS)
Spatial decision support for fire management in Indigenous cultural and stewardship practices
Megan Jennings, Doug Stow, Amber Pairis
Data Integration Project
- USGS Landsat Surface Reflectance Data
- USGS Landsat Burned Area Science Product
- SDSU Landsat Herb Cover Product
- NASA MODIS Surface Reflectance Data
Mapping Vulnerable Populations in California to Climate-Related Hazards
Miriam Marlier, Michael Jerrett, Joe Wilkins, Paul English
Data Integration Project
Wildfires; Air Quality; Heat
Supported by Earth observations:
• CMAQ atmospheric model
• GridMET
Project Type Definitions:

Landscape Analysis:
Studies that increase NASA’s understanding of the EEJ “landscape.”
  • Characterize environmental justice communities and environmental issues they face
  • Familiarity/use of Earth observations
  • Support planning and investment decisions
  • 6-9 months
Feasibility Study: Projects that test ways to address environmental issues facing communities with the help of Earth science information.
  • Co-designed with community organizations
  • Tailored to community needs
  • Test and validate use of Earth observations for local decision making
  • 12-18 months
Data Integration Project: Projects that develop sustained use of integrated Earth science, geospatial, and socioeconomic data, tools, and applications to.
  • Provide environmental justice communities with insights into community-level management
  • Culminate in GIS products for public dissemination.
  • 12-24 months
Equity in Wildfire Applications
When developing a wildfire technology or application, it is essential to recognize the inequitable impact of wildfires on marginalized communities. Vulnerable populations, such as BIPOC communities, low-income groups, those with language barriers, elderly people, and those with pre-existing conditions or disabilities, suffer a disproportionate burden of wildfire. These groups have a higher likelihood of exposure, are most sensitive to wildfire impacts, and have a limited ability to reduce or take on risk. As the intensity and frequency of wildfires increase with the progression of climate change, these inequities will only continue to worsen. When developing tools to address wildfire risk it is important to consider the following:
It is important to ask, does your product fully capture risk – including vulnerability? If your tool assesses wildfire damage, does it consider social vulnerabilities beyond just economic evaluation? More generally, could your tool be modified to acknowledge/address any of the above inequities?
External Resources:
Community Engagement and Equitable Development
The impacts of wildfires, as well as climate change, are not equitably distributed. Community engagement and equitable development are essential when designing projects to serve the most impacted communities. Active participation of community members and co-development of tools ensures they will be tailored to end-user capabilities and meet the communities’ needs. Ultimately this process will increase the use of these tools in decision-making processes in the communities that need it most and expand their impact. In these projects is important to consider how your team can:
External Resources:
Technology Accessibility
When creating climate technology tools, we must evaluate and address the unique needs of all end-users in order to ensure equitable access. Specifically, community organizations that work to address issues related to wildfire may not have the technical expertise to navigate these tools on their own or the funds to bypass paywalls. Despite these barriers, building capacity in these communities is vital to achieving environmental justice. Creating tools that meet the needs of and are accessible to these communities is the first step. While each community’s need will be unique, while designing these tools it is important to consider the following:
External Resources: