Category Archives: Science and Technology

The Insights and Analyses from Mapping Data

Geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful tools that display spatial information (such as locations on a map) in order to help us understand patterns and relationships about our world. So, with National GIS Day on November 16th, the WatchBlog is … Continue reading

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How the Government Engaged the Public to Help Rebuild After Sandy: The Rebuild by Design Competition

Today we’re pleased to share a blog post written by one of our 2016 summer interns, Lauren Shaman, a graduate student at Indiana University. As the fourth anniversary of superstorm Sandy draws near, let’s take a look at one of … Continue reading

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The Great Shake Out: What You Need to Know About Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake preparedness helps protect lives and property from the devastation that earthquakes can cause. It’s particularly important for earthquakes that are difficult to predict or arrive with little warning. The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are happening tomorrow—are you prepared? To … Continue reading

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Securing Anthrax (and Other Dangerous Pathogens)—the Risk of “Incomplete Inactivation”

In 2015, the Department of Defense discovered that one of its laboratories had inadvertently sent live anthrax to almost 200 other labs worldwide over 12 years. Labs routinely inactivate samples of dangerous pathogens so they can be shipped to other … Continue reading

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Connected People, Devices & Data | The Results of Our Data and Analytics Innovation Forum

New technology is all around—fitness trackers count your steps, navigation apps steer you right, and the internet is everywhere. These and other tech trends have resulted in massive volumes of data being generated, stored, and analyzed at unprecedented rates. What … Continue reading

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Where No Auditor Has Gone Before

It’s Star Trek’s 50th anniversary—it first took viewers “where no man has gone before” in 1966. Since then, the Enterprise and its sister ships have spent much of their time at warp speeds, saving planets and fending off hostile life … Continue reading

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Is Your Project’s Technology Up to the Job? Our New Draft Tech Readiness Assessment Guide Can Help Answer That

Technology can help solve some of the thorniest problems. But immature tech can create more problems than it solves. NASA, the Department of Defense, and others originally conceived of the idea of “technology readiness assessments” to determine technology maturity—whether the … Continue reading

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NASA’s Plans for Human Space Exploration (podcast)

In the 1960s, NASA had Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo to get humans to the moon. Today, the agency has the Orion multipurpose crew capsule and the Space Launch System, which could potentially get humans to Mars. Listen to Cristina … Continue reading

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Eyes in the Sky | Could We Be Headed for Less Accurate Weather Forecasts?

Satellites are critical for timely forecasts and warnings of extreme weather events. But, as we’ve discussed before, some of these satellites are aging and should be replaced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oversees key weather satellites, and today we’re … Continue reading

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Examining Ocean Acidification on World Oceans Day

Increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and oceans are resulting in chemical changes known as “ocean acidification.” These changes may pose risks for some marine species and ecosystems, as well as for the coastal communities that rely on them … Continue reading

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