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Leveraging Design Thinking to Inform Water Resource Applications and the NASA PACE Mission
  • Erin Urquhart,
  • Natasha Sadoff
Erin Urquhart
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/SSAI

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Natasha Sadoff
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, SSAI
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The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission is NASA’s next great investment in Earth Science, continuing NASA’s legacy of over forty years of satellite ocean color measurements. PACE, expected to launch in 2023, will advance our Earth-observing and monitoring capabilities through hyperspectral imaging and multi-angle polarimetric observations of ocean, atmosphere, and land ecosystems. PACE will give us an unprecedented view of our home planet and will support user-driven environmental applications through research and applied science to address societal challenges and inform decision-making. An integral component of actionable applied science is Design Thinking - an iterative, problem-solving framework that integrates human perspectives, needs, and experiences at every step of process. In this session, we will present the design process, collaborative activities, and outcomes of the 2021 PACE Applications Water Quality community focus session. A Design Thinking methodology was used in event planning as well as during day-of ideation breakout sessions. To foster empathy and better illuminate the goals, concerns, and needs of the diverse PACE user community, eight draft user personas were created to represent a range of water industry users from research to government to the private sector. Attendees worked together to complete the various personas by identifying different user challenges and pain points, ideal data experiences, and realistic, tailored Earth Observation and PACE Mission specific solutions and opportunities to satisfy users’ needs and goals. As a result, the eight archetype personas and co-production of knowledge will help ensure that PACE data are usable and accessible for a variety of possible users, thereby expanding the eventual reach and societal benefit of PACE. Lastly, we will highlight how Design Thinking will inform future stakeholder engagement efforts and actionable science via the PACE Mission.