Earth Sciences Division (610) Local News Archive

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2022 Clarivate (Web of Science) Highly Cited Researchers

11/17/2022
Matt Rodell (610), Rolf Reichle (610.1), Ben Cook (611), Alex Ruane (611), Alexei Lyapustin (613), Joanna Joiner (614), Doug Morton (618), and Ben Poulter (618) were selected as 2022 Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate (Web of Science). Recipients are recognized for their exceptional research influence, demonstrated by the production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and year.

JPSS-2 and LOFTID Launch!

11/10/2022
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite, with NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration along for the ride, lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California this morning, Nov. 10! Powered by 860,000 pounds of thrust from the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket’s RD-180 engine, launch occurred at 1:49 a.m. PST.

Rodell and Tao named Class of 2022 AGU Fellows

09/19/2022
We are happy to announce Dr. Matthew Rodell and Dr. Wei-Kuo Tao have been elected to the Class of 2022 AGU Fellows. This is a tremendous acknowledgement of their significant scientific achievements and contributions to the broader community. Congratulations to Matt and Wei-Kuo for this well-earned honor!

GLOBE Observer: ICESat-2 and GLOBE Trees Challenge 2022

09/14/2022
What do trees, tree height, lasers, and a NASA satellite called the Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 have in common? Brian Campbell (610/GST) discusses this in his recent blog post “Four Years of ICESat-2 and the Upcoming NASA GLOBE Trees Challenge 2022: Trees in a Changing Climate.”

Dr. George Huffman Named Recipient of 2022 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science

08/11/2022
George Huffman speaking in front of a video screenWe are thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. George Huffman as the 2022 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science winner.

Dr. Huffman is being recognized for outstanding contributions to, and leadership of, algorithm development, science, and applications of the TRMM and GPM multi-satellite precipitation analyses.

Dr. Huffman received his B.S. in Physics at The Ohio State University (1976) and a Ph.D. in Meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1982). He then was an Assistant Professor at University of Maryland, College Park, then moved to GSFC in 1988, where he consulted until entering government service in 2012. Dr. Huffman’s primary focus has been the design, implementation, and extension of combined (satellite-gauge) estimates of global precipitation. The resulting data sets include the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) monthly and daily products (carried out as a contribution to the World Climate Research Program, WCRP); the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis; and the successor NASA Global Precipitation Measurements (GPM) mission’s Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG). Allied work includes estimating errors and extreme precipitation event statistics. Dr. Huffman is the Project Scientist for GPM, as well as the lead for the GPM Multi-satellite Algorithm Team. His research has resulted in 145 publications, 15 as first author, and numerous presentations. As well, he is the Chief for the Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Lab, Code 612, at GSFC. Recent awards include NASA/GSFC Special Act Team Award, Earth Sciences Division Lab Management, 2021; NASA/GSFC Robert H. Goddard Group Award for Science, IMERG Development Team, 2019; Fellow of the American Meteorological Society, 2019; and NASA Exceptional Service Medal, 2018.

George will be presented with the William Nordberg Memorial Award during a future Scientific Colloquium.

Earth Expeditions Blog: Student Scientists Flying High

08/03/2022
A handful of college students recently got to fly through the skies over the Mid-Atlantic as part of a NASA airborne science program.

NASA GLOBE Land Cover Challenge 2022: Land Cover in a Changing Climate

07/26/2022
The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program invites you to take part in our upcoming Land Cover Challenge: “Land Cover in a Changing Climate.”

The photos you take using The GLOBE Program’s GLOBE Observer app document the current land cover and may also show evidence of land cover or land use change in the area. We especially encourage you to look for places you know have changed (or where you know change is coming), and put any information about the reasons or timing for that change in the field notes section. While existing land cover databases (such as the 50-year record from the Landsat satellite) may be able to indicate where change is happening, they don’t always include the reasons why those changes occurred, so any local, on-the-ground knowledge you share with us can be especially helpful.

Rosenzweig Receives 2022 World Food Prize

05/05/2022
Cynthia Rosenzweig, a senior research scientist and head of the Climate Impacts Group at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, received the 2022 World Food Prize from the World Food Prize Foundation. According to the World Food Prize Foundation, the World Food Prize is a prestigious international award conceived as the "Nobel Prize for Food and Agriculture" with a mission to elevate innovations and inspire action to sustainably increase the quality, quantity and availability of food for all.

Rosenzweig was selected for the award for her research to understand the relationship between climate and food systems and forecast how both will change in the future. Her modeling work has provided a foundation for decision-makers around the world to create strategies to mitigate climate change and adapt our food systems to a changing planet, which has helped communities worldwide address the consequences of Earth’s changing climate.

Aqua Turns 20

05/04/2022
Aqua Project Scientist Claire Parkinson (610), Deputy Project Scientist Lazaros Oreopoulos (613), and others reflect on the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Aqua satellite.

Kirschbaum Named Earth Sciences Division Director

04/25/2022
Congratulations to Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum on her appointment as the Director of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC) Earth Sciences Division. Dalia currently serves as the Chief of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory (Code 617), where she leads an interdisciplinary Earth system science lab at GSFC, conducting large-scale hydrological science research using data from NASA’s satellites, land surface models, and fieldwork.

Rodell and Colleagues Discuss Thinning Western Snowpack

04/02/2022
Dr. Matthew Rodell appeared in an ABC News segment on the tihinning snowpack in U.S. western states.

GLOBE Blog Highlights Groundwater for World Water Day 2022

03/14/2022
Dr. Matthew Rodell (610/NASA) and Dr. Denise "Skye" Yost (GLOBE Implementation Office) discuss groundwater, the theme for World Water Day 2022.

Kirschbaum Receives 2022 NOAA-David Johnson Award

02/28/2022
Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum has been named as the National Space Club and Foundation's 2022 NOAA-David Johnson Award recipient. The award will be presented at the 65th Annual Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner on March 18, 2022. Congratulations, Dalia!

We Have Liftoff!

02/19/2022
The S.S. Piers Sellers Cygnus Capsule lifted off atop an Antares rocket at 12:40pm ET to deliver science and supplies to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Arrival is set for Feb. 21.

NG-17 Cygnus Honors Piers Sellers

01/26/2022
Northrop Grumman renamed the upcoming NG-17 Cygnus spacecraft in honor of Piers Sellers. Sellers is best known for being an astronaut, but his true legacy was in Earth science, a big focus during his career at Goddard.

Northrop Grumman is targeting liftoff of its Antares rocket no earlier than 12:39 p.m. EST Saturday, Feb. 19, from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia.

2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers

12/10/2021
Several 610 researchers were named to the annual list identifying scientists and social scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% of citations for their field and year of publication. Congratulations to Matthew Rodell (610), Ben Cook (611), Alex Ruane (611), Alexei Lyapustin (613), Joanna Joiner (614), Douglas Morton (618), Benjamin Poulter (618), and Eric Vermote (619) for being named to this year's list.

2021 610AT Peer Awards Announced

11/05/2021
On November 5, 2021, ESD's Atmospheres organization hosted a virtual awards ceremony with 134 attendees. The following employees were awarded a 2021 610AT Peer Award — Best Senior Author Publication: Sampa Das (614/UMD) and Lauren Zamora (613/UMD); Best Science Highlight or Nugget: Ryan Kramer (613/UMBC) and Lisa Milani (612/UMD); Distinguished Contribution Group Award: Wallops Airborne Topographic Mapper team (ATM), James K. Yungel (615/SSAI), Serdar S. Manizade (615/SSAI), Matthew A. Linkswiler (615/SSAI), Kyle A. Krabill (840), Craig Swenson (615/SSAI), Alexey Chibisov (615/SSAI), Carl Schirtzinger (615/ASRC), and Michael Studinger (615); Technical or Field Campaign Support: Theresa Graydus (610.W/ASRC), Carl Schirtzinger (615/ASRC), and Brian Lowe (610/Peraton), Kenneth Christian (612/UMD), and Alexander Kotsakis (614/USRA); Outstanding performance Science: David Haffner (614/SSAI), Melanie Follette-Cook (614/MSU), Toshihisa Matsui (612/UMD), and Daeho Jin (613/USRA); Engineering and/or Instrument Development or Support: Jason St Clair (614/UMBC); Science Software Development: Zachary Fasnacht (614/SSAI) and Liang-Kang Huang (614/SSAI); IT or Web Support: Paul Hubanks (613/ADNET) and Ashley Barrientos (610/ADNET); Administrative or Business Support: Marion August (613/X3M); Outreach or Mentoring: Dorian Janney (612/ADNET), Santiago Gasso, (613/UMD), Emily Wilson (610), and Ralph Kahn (613); Special Recognition Award: Mariel Friberg (613/UMD), Lara Clemence (610/GST), and Tamas Varnai (613/UMBC); Special Recognition during COVID-19: Gerald McIntire (612/KBRwyle).

Vice President Harris Visits NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

11/05/2021
Accompanied by Senator Chris Van Hollen and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Vice President Kamala Harris visited NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. At her visit, Vice President Harris heard presentations describing how the nation's space program studies climate change and provides crucial information to understand our planet's changes and their impacts on our lives. Lesley Ott (610.1) presented an overview of NASA climate change research and a hyperwall presentation highlighting the impacts of climate change as observed from space and the role of Earth system models in helping communities prepare. Ott was joined by Pam Melroy from NASA Headquarters, who introduced NASA's Earth Science Division, and Christian Braneon (611) from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Braneon provided examples of communities using satellite data in their environmental decision making. The event concluded with NASA Administrator Nelson and Goddard biospheric scientist Lola Fatoyinbo (618) presenting the first light Landsat-9 image.

Chin Elected AGU Fellow

09/28/2021
Photo of Dr. Mian Chin at the Dead Sea. Image courtesy of M. Chin
Dr. Mian Chin of the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory has been elected to AGU's Class of 2021 Fellows. AGU’s announcement states Fellows "...have made outstanding achievements and contributions by pushing the frontiers of our science forward. They have also embodied AGU’s shared vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future for all powered by discovery, innovation, and action. Equally important is that they conducted themselves with integrity, respect, diversity, and collaboration while creating deep engagement in education and outreach. Since 1962, AGU has elected fewer than 0.1% of members to join this prestigious group of individuals.Thanks to their dedication and sacrifice, AGU Fellows serve as global leaders and experts who have propelled our understanding of geosciences. We are confident that they will remain curious and relentlessly focused on answers as they continue to advance their research, which pushes our boundaries of knowledge to create a healthy planet and beyond.”

Congratulations, Mian, for an honor well-deserved!

Loss of Dr. Gail Skofronick-Jackson

09/09/2021
Photo of Dr. Gail Skofronick-Jackson
We are mourning the sudden loss of Dr. Gail Skofronick-Jackson. Gail has been part of NASA's Earth Science Program since 1997. She began her NASA career at Goddard Space Flight Center before she accepted a position as Program Manager of the Weather Focus Area within the HQ Earth Science Division in 2018. At Goddard she served as Chief of the NASA Goddard Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Laboratory, and as Project Scientist for the NASA Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. She was a brilliant, deeply principled and passionate scientist, and a beloved co-worker and friend. Her impact lives on in our work.

Read a tribute to Gail on the International Precipitation Working Group (IPWG) website.

Dr. Paul Newman Awarded The Cleveland Abbe Award

08/10/2021
Dr. Paul A. Newman, Chief Scientist for Earth Sciences, has been awarded the 2022 Cleveland Abbe Award for Distinguished Service to the Atmospheric and Related Sciences, by the American Meteorological Society.

The Cleveland Abbe Award for Distinguished Service to the Atmospheric and Related Sciences by an Individual is presented on the basis of activities that have materially contributed to the progress of the atmospheric and related sciences or to the application of the atmospheric and related sciences to general, social, economic, or humanitarian welfare.

Congratulations, Paul!

Chin and Heymsfield Elected AMS Fellows

08/09/2021
Congratulations to Mian Chin (614) and Gerry Heymsfield (612) on their selection as Fellows of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). They will receive their honors at the AMS Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas, during the week of January 23–27, 2022.

Dr. Randal Koster Named Recipient of 2021 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science

08/02/2021
Photo of RandyWe are thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. Randy Koster as the 2021 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science winner.

Dr. Koster is being recognized for research that has provided unique insights in the field of hydrology, combining modeling efforts with space-based observations, putting GSFC at the forefront of Earth science.

Dr. Koster has worked at NASA GSFC since September of 1987, first as a member of the Hydrological Sciences Branch, and currently as a member of the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO). His early work focused on the analysis of global water isotope geochemistry. Most of his tenure at GSFC, though, has been dedicated to two research thrusts: (i) the development of improved treatments of land surface physics for Earth system models, and (ii) the analysis of interactions between the land and atmosphere, using these models. He has examined many questions regarding land-atmosphere feedback, including: Can knowledge of soil moisture conditions at the beginning of a seasonal weather forecast improve the forecast? Can we find evidence in the observational record that variability in land surface states has an effect on rainfall, air temperature, and other atmospheric variables? He has coordinated multi-institutional analyses of land-atmosphere feedback for two components of the World Climate Research Programme. He serves on the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Science Team, focusing on making sure that SMAP satellite-based soil moisture data is useful for climate studies and other applications.

With the advent of the GMAO in 2003, Dr. Koster was given the responsibility of coordinating the land surface modeling activities at GSFC into a single land surface modeling system. This ever-evolving system is used extensively by the GMAO and is available for use by the NASA community.

Randy will be presented with the William Nordberg Memorial Award during a future Scientific Colloquium that will be scheduled once we are all back on Center.

Co-Winner of 2021 NASA Government Invention of the Year

08/01/2021
Congratulations to Murzy Jhabvala (Code 550), Donald Jennings (Code 553), and Compton Tucker (Code 610). NASA’s Inventions and Contributions Board has selected the CubeSat-compatible High Resolution Thermal Infrared Imager as co-winner of the 2021 Government Invention of the Year.

Braneon Receives AXA Award for Climate Science

07/21/2021
Congratulations to climate impacts researcher Dr. Christian Braneon of NASA's GISS and of Columbia University's Earth Institute CCSR for receiving a 2021 AXA Award for Climate Science. Dr. Braneon’s award was specifically for his contribution to understanding climate change impacts on urban, agriculture and natural systems as well as climate justice.

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