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Friday, September 18, 2020

Qatar-NASA launch mission to research water security amid climate change concerns

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Qatar Foundation (QF) and NASA embark on a joint research mission on water detection, as part of recent Doha-Washington agreements.

QF and NASA researchers announced plans to collaborate on a project to address global concern on water security and climate change.

Dubbed ‘Orbiting Arid Subsurface and Ice Sheet Sounder’ [OASIS], the mission will set in motion a probe under sand dunes and ice sheets of some of the earth’s driest places. The research mission will contribute to new data to help better understand climate change.

“Water security is becoming an issue for an increasing number of countries around the globe and beyond the so-called arid regions. This project is pioneer research in this field by providing Qatar and the whole scientific community an innovative tool that will bring key responses in the field,” said Dr Marc Vermeersch, executive director of HBKU’s Qatar Environment, Energy and Research Institute (QEERI).

The announcement was made during a virtual Culture and Education Cooperation Session on Tuesday at the Doha-Washington talks, with attendees including US Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, Qatar Ministry of Education and Higher Education Undersecretary Dr Ibrahim Saleh Al Nuaimi, President of QF’s Hamad bin Khalifa University Dr. Ahmad Al Hasnah, as well as the Head of Years of Culture at Qatar Museums Aisha Al Attiya.

“It is a pleasure to take part in this dialogue that reflects the depth of the bilateral relations between our countries. We are very proud of the cooperation between the US and Qatar in education, higher education and scientific research, a field that is flourishing year after year,” said Al Nuaimi.

Read also: Qatari-US Strategic Dialogue: 2021 to be joint ‘Year of Culture’

Educational collaborations were part of the major key outcomes of the third Qatari-US Strategic Dialogue held this week, which saw the allies sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Statement of Intent to encourage further partnerships in various fields.

The recent cooperations between Qatar and the US also included adding 110 new US universities to Qatar’s accreditation list, raising the number to 685.

Doha will also be collaborating with the Smithsonian Institution to organise exhibitions with the Museum of Islamic Art as part of the announced 2021 Year of Culture.

“The 2021 Qatar US Year of Culture is an exciting opportunity to launch joint projects and identify what new paths we can follow together,” said Chase Robinson, director of the American Museum of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution.


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