"The Earth Observer: Understanding Our Planet from 400 Miles Up" will be the theme for two free public lectures, one on Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in JPL's von Karman Auditorium, the other on Friday, April 17 at 7 p.m. in The Forum at Pasadena City College. Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first- served basis.

The lectures will be presented by Marguerite Syvertson, outreach coordinator for the Earth Science Flight Experiments Program and the Earth and Space Sciences Division. She has been involved as an engineer, scientist and outreach specialist in the development of the Earth Observing System (EOS).

Over the next decade, NASA is preparing to launch a suite of missions that will greatly aid in a more comprehensive understanding of Earth and its processes. The Earth Observing System AM-1 satellite, scheduled for launch this summer, is the first of these missions and will provide unprecedented amounts of data about Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere that will allow scientists to study and eventually model changes in Earth's environment and climate.

EOS AM-1 will carry two instruments onboard: the Multi-Angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), which is provided by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry with scientific support provided by JPL. These instruments will monitor Earth's biosphere, volcanoes, oceans and clouds.

Two more spacecraft, one carrying the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), which will study weather and climate, and the other carrying the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and the Tropospheric Emission Specrometer (TES), will study atmospheric composition and will be launched in 2000 and 2002 respectively.

This lecture is part of the von Karman Lecture Series sponsored monthly by the JPL Media Relations Office. A web site on the lecture series is located at For directions and other information, call the Media Relations Office at (818) 354-5011.

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