GARRETSON, SD – On Saturday, the world celebrates the United Nations’ 70th anniversary as an organization that promotes peace and cooperation among nations. The old League of Nations morphed into the U.N. in the months following World War II as part of an effort to prevent global conflicts in the future. Unknown to many people, a South Dakota agency has a scientific stake in the U.N.’s longevity.
For 70 years, the United Nations in New York has served as a platform for world leaders, from popes to presidents, to address some of the most pressing issues facing the world.
“Seeing some of the meetings where you have all of the people from different countries trying to come together and the processes of consensus that are necessary in the U.N., you realize what challenges they have in the U.N. and I think it’s great that they’ve managed to survive for seventy years, because it is quite a challenge, from what I’ve seen,” EROS Data Center Geographer Bruce Pengra said.
Far removed from those heated debates in New York City, on the wind-swept prairie of South Dakota, the EROS Data Center near Garretson is one of the few places anywhere in the world that flies the United Nation’s flag.
“Our goal is to give them the best information that we can,” EROS Director Frank Kelly said.
EROS serves as a research arm of the United Nations. EROS’s vast storehouse of space satellite imagery, collected over four decades, provides important geographic data to U.N.-member nations.
“And so our aim, as mandated by the U.N. General Assembly, which is member countries, was to keep the world environmental situation under review and keep the member countries appraised of the state of that environment,” Pengra said.
EROS’s partnership with the United Nations began in 1991. That collaboration has found its way onto page after page of atlases displaying the ever-changing landscape of a world in constant flux.
“They wanted to be close to where the data was and see if there was a way they could optimize their expenses and their resources, plus the expertise of people that we had here at EROS. It was just one of those things that worked in terms of the U.N. looking for somewhere,” Kelly said.
The satellite images collected by EROS are especially valuable to developing countries trying to adjust to drought and other environmental upheavals brought on by climate change.
“We give them the best opportunity to understand what’s going on in their backyard so they can understand how their backyard fits in with the world,” Kelly said.
Through the years, scientists from more than two-dozen U.N. member nations have visited here, making EROS a scientific melting pot for the world.
“And they’ll come and they’ll spend time with us, probably in the order of weeks to months and go through and do research on specific activities people have in their countries so they understand what’s going on using their remote sensing data that we have here,” Kelly said.
But scientific collaboration is a two-way street, so that puts EROS researchers on the road as well.
“It was good and bad. There were times when I would find out I’m travelling overseas two-weeks before I would go, or less, but the opportunity to travel was fantastic,” Pengra said.
But sharing data stored at EROS can be a challenge even as technology advances at a rapid pace.
“Surprisingly, even countries that have high-speed access to the Internet is scarce. Universities don’t have it, but eventually that’s going to probably be available everywhere,” Pengra said.
And EROS will play a leading role in providing important data to researchers for years to come. EROS’s global outreach parallels the United Nation’s mission of cooperation among countries, where leaders on the ground rely upon EROS’s big picture view of the world from above.
Landmarks around the world, including New York’s Empire State Building, will be lit-up in blue Saturday in celebration of the U.N.’s 70th anniversary. EROS will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its partnership with the U.N. next year.
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5 thoughts on “EROS: U.N.’s Satellite Office”
JUST ANOTHER “OFFICE” CREATED BY THE PARASITES TO SUCK US DRY.
““Seeing some of the meetings where you have all of the people from different countries trying to come together and the processes of consensus that are necessary in the U.N., you realize what challenges they have in the U.N. and I think it’s great that they’ve managed to survive for seventy years, because it is quite a challenge, from what I’ve seen,” EROS Data Center Geographer Bruce Pengra said.”
Oh god….what a friggin’ sheeple. Someone hit this guy over the head.
““And so our aim, as mandated by the U.N. General Assembly,”
Really? Where in the Constitution and Bill of Rights does it say you are “MANDATED” by the UN General Assembly, an unconstitutional foreign entity. I think you are “MANDATED” by We the People to pack up your bags and get the F**K out of our country before we hang your ass for high treason, you stupid dumbass!”
“EROS’s partnership with the United Nations began in 1991. ”
I didn’t know this.
Looks like nsa (no such agency) has nothing on these aholes. They appear to be the head of the geo-engineering/aerial aerosol poisoning snake imho, as u.n. countries all suffer from these crimes. Never heard of them. Go figure.