CSTARS Recognized With ‘Innovation Award’ for Extensive Oil Spill Coverage

CSTARS award

WASHINGTON — June 29, 2011 — The Alliance For Earth Observations awarded the Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing (CSTARS) at the University of Miami with its inaugural Innovation Award, for action taken during the DeepWater Horizon disaster. The award honors an individual, group or organization for groundbreaking technological research or applications innovation in Earth observations, and was presented to Dr. Hans Graber at The Forum On Earth Observations V in Washington D.C.

CSTARS provided unprecedented daily coverage of the area from Texas to Florida enabling federal, state and local responders to have rapid access to data. More than 1,200 images were made available between April 21 and August 18, 2010.

In order to provide this breadth of data, the professional and scientific team at CSTARS had to quickly expand its existing licensing agreements to allow sharing of this data with a greater number of agencies.  Today, CSTARS offers access to remotely sensed images from 18 providers around the world in near-real time.

“We are proud to have contributed so greatly to our nation’s ability to monitor and better respond to a disaster of such magnitude. There will be plenty more opportunities in the future and not just disasters,  where we need faster and better data over large areas from a multitude of sensors,” said Graber. “Our entire professional team deserves this honor, for their tireless efforts during this disaster.”

The Executive Director of the Planetary Society, Bill Nye the Science Guy, emceed the luncheon. Awards were also given to Senator Barbara Mikulski for her leadership as chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science as support of the science and innovation within NASA, NOAA and other agencies, as well as Dr. Thomas Karl, Director of the National Climate Data Center, for his leadership in communicating the importance of accurate, timely, and sustained climate and weather data for long-term modeling, planning, and forecasting, amongst many other roles.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

cstars •  bill nye •  barbara mikulski •  dr. hans graber •  dr. thomas karl •  oil spill •  deepwater horizon •  achievement award •