Mitigating Natural Disaster Risks with NASA: A Virtual Deep Dive

Posted October 5, 2023 by Miranda Marshall

Natural disasters affect us all, whether directly or indirectly, and the need for innovative solutions to mitigate their impacts has never been more critical. Join us on October 24 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Eastern for an enlightening virtual event that explores how NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility technologies are revolutionizing disaster mitigation and enhancing emergency response efforts!

The Urgent Need for Disaster Mitigation

Natural disasters are a universal challenge, and a rapidly rising one at that. Since 1900, the occurrence of natural disasters has increased tenfold, and the trend of more frequent, more intense floods, droughts, and storms. Whether your home town is in the direct path of a hurricane, you’re dealing with hazardous smoke from wildfires, you’re experiencing flight cancellations due to blizzards, or simply witnessing the economic toll of property damage and lost revenue, the impact of disasters resonates with everyone. According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), natural disasters cost the United States a staggering $59 billion annually. It’s a challenge that demands collective action and innovative solutions.

NASA’s Crucial Role in Disaster Mitigation

While NASA is renowned for its space exploration milestone, the agency is also actively leveraging their cutting-edge technology to address the pressing issue of natural disaster mitigation right here on Earth.

NASA’s Advanced Capabilities for Emergency Response Operations (ACERO) project is at the forefront of this effort. By harnessing the power of drones and advanced aviation technologies, ACERO is improving coordination and operations in wildfire management. The project is initially targeted at developing and transitioning technologies to wildland firefighters to make their aerial and ground operations more responsive and effective to save lives, property, and reduce the impact of disasters caused from climate change.

Additionally, NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility program is dedicated to exploring novel ways to support firefighting efforts, supply essential resources to first responders during emergencies, develop innovative disaster relief strategies, and enhance overall resilience against a wide range of natural disasters. By pushing the boundaries of technology and aviation, NASA is playing a pivotal role in safeguarding communities and reducing the devastation caused by disasters.

What to Expect at the Virtual Workshop

During this virtual workshop, participants will have the unique opportunity to learn from experts deeply involved in NASA’s ACERO and Advanced Air Mobility programs.

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Marcus Johnson serves as Project Manager at the NASA Ames Research Center, where he has conducted research on uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) since 2012. Marcus has been a thought leader for the development of the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) System and Advanced Air Mobility.

He currently serves as a project manager for the Advanced Capabilities for Emergency Response Operations (ACERO) which is focused on modernizing emergency response operations by integrating AAM technologies.

Dr. Johnson holds a B.S., M.S., and PhD in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on Nonlinear Control and Machine Learning from the University of Florida.

Devin Boyle is currently the electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Propulsion Subproject Manager in the Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) Project within NASA’s Aeronautics Mission Directorate. Devin began his NASA career as a cooperative education student in 2007 at Armstrong Flight Research Center located on Edwards AFB, California. His technical background includes turbofan propulsion integration flight test and research at Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California, as well as turbofan and electrified aircraft propulsion acoustics research at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

Beyond his work at NASA, Devin is a Lieutenant Colonel in Civil Air Patrol (CAP), where he is currently a squadron commander, search-and-rescue/disaster relief (SAR/DR) mission pilot, and ground team leader. During his nearly 20 years in CAP, he has been involved in numerous missions searching for overdue aircraft, peri- and post-disaster response, and homeland security.

He is a Senior Member in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and holds degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (BS, MS) and Georgia Institute of Technology (MS).


This event is an exciting opportunity to gain expert insights into the latest advancements, technologies, and strategies that NASA is employing to combat natural disasters.

What Can Students Do?

Students can get involved with NASA’s effort to combat disaster risks by completing a Modeling the Future Challenge (MTFC) project that aligns with the ACERO and Advanced Air Mobility projects. During the MTFC Project Phase, students can design their research topics to use NASA data and will have the chance to connect with NASA experts as part of their mentorship opportunities to learn more about how drones and advanced air mobility technologies can help with disaster risk mitigation. By leveraging these NASA resources and data sources, competitors can address real-world challenges related to natural disaster risks.

Don’t miss out on the chance to participate in this information-packed 90-minute session to get insider ideas from NASA experts on how your MTFC project can play a real role in helping to mitigate disaster risk! Secure your spot to learn, connect, engage in discussions, and share ideas as we delve into the world of disaster mitigation with NASA.

Register here: