January 13, 1998 Glin and Partners Selected as NASA Research Grant Recipient

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

A cooperative project involving the Law Library's Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to benefit in part from a research award. The announcement was made Dec. 2 at NASA's Washington headquarters. GLIN is a multinational on-line database of legal information that is shared by its members.

The cooperative project, "Integrating Environmental and Legal Information Systems," brings together the Law Library of Congress, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), the University of Maryland/Baltimore County and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to expand the use of Mission to Planet Earth data -- in this case, remote sensing data in the area of environmental law. These data will be integrated with environmental law documents in the databases of GLIN and CIEL E-Line. Using data from remote sensors allows more accurate monitoring and enforcement measures to be incorporated into environmental laws and treaties.

"This project sanctions the marriage of science and law," said Rubens Medina, Law Librarian of Congress. "New technology has enabled us to integrate scientific data with legal information and expand the capacity of science as an instrument of lawmaking and implementation."

Part of the project calls for the development of a Model Environmental legislation system that will be used as an instructional tool at American University in Washington to teach the development of environmental legislation that incorporates remote sensing data. This work will also provide model information critical to augmenting the entire GLIN system.

The current project seeks to develop processes to enhance the value of Mission to Planet Earth data products beyond the earth science community and represents "an innovative use of remote sensing data," according to Milton Halem, Chief of the Earth and Space Data and Computing Center at Goddard Space Flight Center.

The awards were a response to a July 1996 National Research Council recommendation that NASA identify alternative end-user products and services for the agency's planned Earth Observing System. Known as "Earth Science Information Partners," the awards totaled some $50 million and cover a three-to-five-year period for selected projects. Awards were made in two categories: 1) undertakings consisting of more strictly scientific research projects; and 2) projects involving broader user applications that go beyond the scientific community. Some 65 proposals were made in the latter category; the project involving GLIN was one of only 12 selected.

The project will be headed by Konstantinos Kalpakis of the University of Maryland/Baltimore County. Professor Kalpakis has been providing technical and training assistance to GLIN since 1996.


PR 98-001
ISSN 0731-3527