Meteosat-2 artificially-coloured visible channel full-disc Earth image. Credit: ESA

My name is Thomas Chatelard and I am studying Aerospace Engineering at ISAE-SUPAERO in France. I am an intern at ESRIN, ESA’s centre for Earth Observation in Italy, in the Coordination Office of the Earth Observation Programmes Directorate. Let me tell you more about my amazing experience here!

My project is part of an effort that will improve the contribution of Earth Observation data for sustainable development. In 2015, the United Nations Member States agreed on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), supported by 232 indicators helping countries to pinpoint key implementation challenges.

Infographic to explain Thomas Chatelard’s work within ESA about sustainable development indicators. Credit: ESA

This is where ESA comes in! Earth Observation provides Nations with data for indicators to track progress. It is sometimes the only feasible method to collect information, and provides transparency and openness for developing operational policies that seek to minimise environmental and social impacts.

My mission is to review ESA’s Earth Observation assets to determine those that could support specific United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. I analyse in details the 232 indicators to determine which ones might require the support of satellite observation and geospatial data.

Besides, I really appreciated the international environment at ESA. Indeed, all my colleagues are from different European countries and I have made many enriching encounters.

Credit: Civil Society mechanism for relations to the UN Committee on World Food Security

There is a strong cohesion shared between ESRIN trainees, which enabled me to integrate myself very quickly in the agency.

I am inspired by my colleagues to work hard and be able to come up with creative ideas. Just being surrounded by skilled people is the best motivation to continue improving.

I always knew that I really wanted to work with technology, growth in a cutting edge environment. I want to work on something that is meaningful and use science to make the world a better place.

By improving everyone’s lives through Earth Observation work for Sustainable Development, ESA meets my requirements.