NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are joining
forces with other U.S. and Central American partners to launch an
innovative, Web-based, environmental management system for Central America.
On Thursday, the partners will inaugurate this unique regional monitoring
system at its home within the CATHALAC facility in the City of Knowledge,

WHAT: SERVIR, a Spanish acronym for the Regional Monitoring and
Visualization System for Mesoamerica, is a mapping and visualization system
that makes intensive use of satellite imagery and other data sources for
environmental management and disaster support in Central America. The system
enables scientists, educators and policy makers to monitor and forecast
ecological changes and respond to disasters such as forest fires,
hurricanes, drought, red tides and volcanic eruptions. SERVIR also provides
user-friendly, interactive tools freely available online for students and
the general public. In addition, SERVIR represents the initial Mesoamerican
contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

NASA is supporting the system in partnership with the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID); the World Bank; the Water Center for the
Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC); the Central
American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD); the City of
Knowledge, Panama; and Cable & Wireless Panama.

WHEN: The dedication and tour of the facility, including a SERVIR
demonstration, will take place on Thursday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. EST.

WHERE: The offices of CATHALAC at Edificio 801, Cuidad del Saber (Clayton),

WHO: Several NASA officials will attend the dedication, including: Dr.
Ghassem Asrar, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Science; Dr. Tom
Sever, SERVIR Principal Investigator; and Daniel Irwin, SERVIR Project
Manager. NASA partner officials also will attend, including The Honorable
Linda E. Watt, U.S. Ambassador to Panama; Emilio Sempris, Director of
CATHALAC; and representatives from USAID, The World Bank, the City of
Knowledge and the CCAD.

TO ATTEND: News media interested in covering the event on-site should contact
Emilio Sempris at CATHALAC at 507/317-0111 no later than close of business
on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

For more information about SERVIR on the Web, visit: