“For really big problems we use really creative solutions.” an interview with Daniel Irwin

Recorded February 21, 2019 Archived February 21, 2019 20:56 minutes
Id: APP615519


Daniel Irwin’s first direct connection with NASA started in the small town of Flores in Guatemala. Amidst work dodging snakes and spiders in the jungle, he had a chance encounter with a researcher who handed him satellite mapping images of archaeological structures hidden in the area he was surveying to create borders for what would become a biosphere reserve. Irwin later took these maps around to villages in the area to show them the effects of deforestation on their environment to help explain why it mattered.

Irwin would go on to work with NASA himself following a “vision of connecting space to the village” as part of the joint NASA and U.S. AID regional environmental monitoring program SERVIR. This includes using satellite images throughout his career to help people on the ground, whether it means warning Kenyan farmers to prune tea leaves before incoming frost, tracking harmful algal blooms in the Americas or floods in Nepal. (Recorded 12 December 2018)


  • Daniel Irwin
  • Josh Learn
  • AGU Narratives

Interview By