NASA's Role in Advancing Earth's Well-being: Dr. Gutman's Visit to Central and Eastern Europe Under the Embassy Science Fellowship Program

Dr. Garik Gutman recently visited Central and Eastern Europe to meet with researchers and academics in the region. He started his tour in Budapest, where the hub for regional space-related activities is located. Dr. Gutman gave talks on the water-energy-food nexus and recent NASA Earth Observation missions at several institutions in the region, which included Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Czechia and Austria. He also had an opportunity to learn about the achievements of regional experts in the field of Earth’s Remote Sensing. He was welcomed in Budapest by the Ambassador of the United States to Hungary, David Pressman, who emphasized in his speech the pivotal role of NASA's research in driving positive changes for the well-being of our planet. Pressman highlighted that NASA's contributions extend beyond space missions, shedding light on the agency's crucial involvement in Earth observation and its impact on various aspects of life, including weather forecasting, crop estimation, natural resource management, and mitigating natural disasters. The Ambassador reminded that, according to a recently published research, Hungary experienced a 3% loss in its GDP due to drought-related crop losses in 2022, emphasizing the relevance of advanced agricultural technology and land observation techniques for water efficiency and food production. The Ambassador’s speech was followed by Dr. Gutman’s remarks on NASA’s vision, mission, and achievements in studying the relationship between the earth’s surface and the climate. He emphasized the importance of international partnerships, particularly those between NASA and European institutions and space agencies. He also mentioned NASA’s initiative on Open Source Science. The focus of the activities in the program, Dr. Gutman manages, is on how remote sensing from space can help in detecting and monitoring land-cover and land-use changes, such as the exploitation of forests, changing agriculture and urbanization, and understanding the consequences and the drivers of these processes. He visited esteemed institutions, such as Eötvös Loránd University and the Lechner Knowledge Center in Budapest, and the Óbuda University in Székesfehérvár, before continuing his lecture tour to the Babes-Boyai University in Cluj (Romania), University of Belgrade (Serbia), CzechGlobe and Mazaryk University in Brno (Czechia), and IIASA and Technical University of Vienna (Austria). Dr. Gutman's visit and expertise were acknowledged and highlighted in multiple newspapers in Hungary, as well as on the website of the US Embassy of Hungary. For more information, please visit the links below: