Nobel Laureate John Mather presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Creating the Future: Building JWST, what it may find, and what comes next?" In this lecture, John takes a rear view look at how James Webb Space Telescope was started, what it can see and what it might discover. He describes the hardware, what it was designed to observe, and speculate about the surprises it might uncover. He also outlines a possible future of space observatories: what astronomers want to build, what we need to invent, and what they might find, even the chance of discovering life on planets around other stars.
Dr. James Irons, Deputy Director of NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Division, presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Balancing Precariously on Giants' Shoulders; Landsat and Project Science." Jim shared his 35 years experience and observations working across GSFC Directorates to play a role in a couple of successful Landsat missions.
NASA Solar Physicist Dr. Brian Dennis presented a Maniac Talk entitled "From Picking Potatoes to Measuring the Biggest Bangs in the Solar System -- Always a Farm Boy!" Brian described his formative years in England, then summarized our present understanding of how solar flares work and reviewed possible advances in instrumentation that could lead to major breakthroughs in the future.
NASA climate scientist Dr. P.K. Bhartia presented a Maniac Talk entitled "Maxwell Demon, Black Swan and a Romp in Scientific Hinterlands." PK discussed his roller coaster career, which got nearly derailed after a brief tryst with history and his obsession for understanding esoteric details of measurements that once in a while leads to something interesting.
Dr. Jack Kaye, Associate Director for Research at NASA Headquarters presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "An Unlikely but Rewarding Journey--From Quantum Chemistry to Earth Science Research Program Leadership." Jack took stock of his 30+ years at NASA, noting the people, opportunities, lessons learned, and choices that helped him get to where he is today and accomplish what he have.
Dr. Aprille Joy Ericsson, Deputy to the Chief Technologist for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "A Rocket Scientist grows up in Brooklyn (NY)." Aprille shared her journey of being a Tom-girl growing up in the Bed-Sty Projects in Brooklyn (NY) with a budding interest in STEAM to becoming a Rocket Scientist for NASA. And the impact of watching men going to the moon and the ah-ha moments!
Dr. James Garvin, Chief Scientist, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, presented a Maniac Talk entitled "From Brownian Motion to Mars, by way of hockey on the rocks." Jim shared how his passion for rocks and landscapes drove him to promote new remote sensing approaches for measuring their topologies and led to founding of the Mars Science Laboratory and its Curiosity Rover.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Anne Thompson presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "A Career in Many Ozone Layers." Anne shared some of her long scientific career both as a researcher at NASA Goddard and Meteorology professor at Penn State University. She also described some of the problems she has worked on and tried to convey an enthusiasm for Earth Observations.
NASA physicist, Dr. Henning Leidecker, presented a Maniac Talk, entitled "How I came to NASA to fix Spacecraft ..." Henning talked about his life, from earliest memories to now, pondering how things work. And how a single tiny incandescent lamp killed 3 GOES, HST gyros running down, and exploding parts in TDRS, and why the Shuttle repeatedly failed to launch, and the underlying physics.
Dr. Peter Hildebrand, Director of NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Division, presented a Maniac Talk entitled "From studies of solubility and divers breathing helium, to DOGS, then NCAR and NASA." Peter described the path that got him to where he now finds himself, with role models, mentors, a few fumbles, and a lot of love for the study of Mother Nature.
Dr. William Lau, Deputy Director for Atmospheres, Earth Science Division at NASA Goddard, presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "My Story: A Tale of Three Continents." Bill shared his early childhood under a colonial education system with strong Chinese cultural influence and how world events, cultural and education system of three major continents, Europe, Asia and North America shaped his upbringing career goals and work ethics.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Josefino Comiso shared some of his experiences growing up in northern Philippines and his sea ice work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center that led to many breakthroughs in our understanding of the role of sea ice and the polar regions in the climate system.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Alexander Marshak presented a Maniac Talk that traced his journey from Tartu (Estonia) to Novosibirsk (Russia) to Goettingen (Germany) and finally to NASA Goddard (USA). He also reflected on his lengthy journey through many aspects of radiation transport and his rich experience in remote sensing observations of aerosols and clouds.
NASA climate scientist Dr. David Atlas, the founding director of the Laboratory of Atmospheric Sciences at NASA/GSFC, shared some of the advances in radar for atmospheric probing since World War-II and the institutions and people that played major roles, and a personal reflection on meteorology in the last 70 years.
NASA climate scientist (emeritus) Dr. Lorraine Remer presented a Maniac Talk entitled, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Why I came to NASA and Why I left." Lorraine shared some of the aerosol science she has been involved in at NASA Goddard over the past 21 years, as well as a reflection on her route to becoming a NASA scientist and key factors that influenced her to leave a tenured job.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Charles McClain presented a Maniac Talk, "From Great Expanses of Grassland to Great Expanses of Marine Phytoplankton (or "Ok, Now What Do I Do!"). Chuck shared some of the marine ecosystems science he has been involved in at Goddard over the past 35 years, as well as a reflection on his journey from a rural agricultural community in Missouri to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Warren Wiscombe presented a special Maniac Talk, 'Exoplanets.' Warren shared how he got interested in exoplanets and gave an overview of the methods used to detect exoplanets, a few of the important and most fun discoveries, and what lies ahead.
NASA climate scientist (emeritus) Dr. Michael King shared his scientific career including early unsuccessful pursuits in atmospheric electricity to more rewarding research in radiative transfer, and his crystal ball view of the future of Earth science.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Compton 'Jim' Tucker presented a Maniac Talk, 'Measurements, Modeling, and the Jump to Three Decades of Global Satellite Data.' Jim shared experiences and lessons learned over three decades while studying global land vegetation, and his early years as a bank credit-card clerk and bill collector in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
NASA climate scientist (emeritus) Dr. Marc Imhoff presented a Maniac Talk, 'Urbanization in the Anthropocene: What's Ahead for Energy, Climate, and Food Security?' Marc shared some of his new work on integrated modeling approaches that couple socio-economics, climate and energy using data from satellites, as well as key moments during his career at NASA of about 32 years.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Anne Douglass presented a Maniac Talk, 'Satellite Observations - the Touchstone of Atmospheric Modeling.' Anne shared some of her scientific career that is filled with unexpected twists and turns and even a few blind alleys, but most important her passion in satellite measurements of ozone and other trace gases, which have been her touchstone.
NASA climate scientist Dr. Gail Skofronick Jackson presented a Maniac Talk, 'Falling Snow Detective.' Gail talked about her experiences growing up with hurricanes in Florida and how that shaped her excitement in the science of detecting falling snow from space. Using paper snowflakes and audience help, she explained why snow is important on Earth and why scientists love and hate snow.
Dr. Robert Cahalan gave an interesting and stimulating talk, ‘Angel Hair, Ice Cream Castles, Dripping Faucets & Euler Fractals.’ He combined anecdotes from his life and career with insights into the world around us from symmetry, fractals, and chaotic systems.
Over the past 20 years, the entire weather enterprise has made revolutionary advances in the prediction of weather. Remarkably, even greater progress has been made in the prediction of extreme weather events out to 7 days in advance (in some cases). In this presentation, Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, Director of the National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, will review the advancements that have been made in the prediction of extreme events. He will then trace the revolutionary transformation of forecasting from a subjective 'art' in the 1940’s to the applied physical science that it is today.
Presented by: Dr. Louis W. Uccellini
SSED All-Hands Meeting
Here are the slides (in PDF) for the September 11, 2012 Code 690 All Hands Meeting.