AMS Short Course on Utilization of Soil Moisture Data from the SMAP mission (CANCELLED)

The AMS Short Course on Utilization of Soil Moisture Data from the SMAP mission, will be held on 10 January 2016 preceding the 96th AMS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Preliminary programs, registration, hotel, and general information can be found on the AMS Web site (  

Soil moisture data are critical for improving applications in weather, climate, drought, flood, fire, human health and national security. NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission was launched in 2015 and is now providing soil moisture and freeze/thaw measurements from space.

The SMAP Applications Program is working with users to familiarize them with the recently released SMAP data products and to accelerate the use of these data and their impact on applications.  The SMAP Project actively supports applied research to leverage fundamental knowledge of how SMAP data products can be scaled and integrated into users’ policy, business and management activities to improve decision-making efforts. 

The goal of this course is to familiarize the user community with SMAP soil moisture data products – data access, file contents, processing and usage – and provide an introduction to applications including numerical weather prediction, agricultural forecasts, and extreme events.  There will also be a hands-on portion of the course using SMAP data products.  The course will facilitate continuity of satellite soil moisture data utilization from earlier missions (AMSR, SMOS) for regional and global soil moisture research and operational applications.  The course will demonstrate data access, data browsing, and use-cases of beta data products publicly available from the SMAP mission. The course is aimed at researchers, modelers, students, and practitioners from the weather and other applications communities.  The course is open to all.  Existing agencies and organizations involved with SMAP applications include DoD, AFWA, USDA, USGS, ECMWF, NOAA, NIC and the NRL.

This half-day course will be held on Sunday, 10 January 2016 and will address the following:

  • Accessing and opening SMAP data product files via the public-access Data Centers
  • Understanding and interpreting product file contents, projections, variables, flags, etc.
  • Methods for browsing and data search
  • Understanding and usage of data assimilation products based on SMAP measurements and models
  • Limitations and caveats in the use of SMAP data; status of product calibration and validation
  • Usage of SMAP data in prototype applications

There will be opportunities for interactions between SMAP team scientists and the user community on protocols for assimilating satellite data into operational systems and ways forward for streamlining SMAP data into research to operations

The course format consists of two hours of lectures and demonstration followed by two hours of hands on laboratory session with exercises that can be completed any time during the conference.

The instructors for the course are Dr. Dara Entekhabi, (Science Team Leader of the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission), Simon Yueh, JPL, (SMAP Project Scientist) and Eni Njoku (SMAP Soil Moisture Product Team). They will be joined by Narendra Das and Steven Chan from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Vanessa Escobar from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

The tutorial will begin at 1:30 pm and conclude at 5:30 pm. Internet will be provided for this course.  Attendees must bring their own laptops.

For more information please contact Vanessa Escobar at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 618, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt MD, 20771 (tel: 301-614-6654; email: [email protected]).