Sciences and Exploration Directorate (600) Local News Archive

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Ralph Kahn to receive 2019 Nordberg Award

11/27/2019
Photo of Ralph Kahn We are thrilled to announce the selection of Ralph Kahn as the 2019 William Nordberg Memorial Award for Earth Science winner. Ralph Kahn has dedicated most of his scientific career to studying aerosols and their major influences on air quality, aviation safety, cloud properties, and global climate. He has conducted pioneering work to greatly advance our understanding of aerosol interactions with their environment and to influence relevant research directions of GSFC, NASA, and the Earth science community as a whole. His work as the MISR validation scientist has resulted in more than 15 years of global high quality aerosol observations from MISR. Ralph has validated detection algorithms of key sources of biomass burning aerosols, characterized their strength and injection heights into the atmosphere, and showed how to identify and track ash plumes from volcanic eruptions. These techniques are routinely used by aerosol scientists worldwide. Kahn has built an enduring legacy at GSFC for his outstanding ability to build collaborations between NASA mission teams. He has been instrumental in bringing together the aerosol teams of MISR, MODIS, CALIPSO, and OMI and urged the modeling and satellite communities to come together. Kahn’s scientific influence is also evident in his prodigious publication record. Publication prowess is only one facet of his scientific reputation and standing. Kahn entertains a ceaseless stream of invitations for talks at scientific meetings and educational/research institutions. Ralph also cares deeply about community outreach and mentoring early-career scientists. His educational credentials include contributions to the Encyclopedia of Remote Sensing, lending frequently his expertise for Earth Observatory stories, and being a founder and editor of PUMAS, an on-line journal providing pre-college teachers peer-reviewed enrichment material (Outstanding Education Product Award in 1999). Many of his former mentees have moved on to successful positions in academia and government.

Presentation to members of the Italian Photography Fund and the Embassy of Italy

11/19/2019
Ruggiero Di Benedetto, President of the Italian Photography Fund (FIOF), and members of the FIOF and the Embassy of Italy visited Goddard on Tuesday. Joshua Schlieder gave a hyperwall presentation about SED science, with support by Sara Faggi, translating the science into Italian.
photo of Joshua in front of the typerwall

FY2019 SECP graduates

10/09/2019
Goddard’s Science and Engineering Collaboration Program (SECP) serves as a training ground for future lead engineers and principal investigators. The SECP was created to bridge the gap between the GSFC scientific and engineering communities to strengthen engineers’ understanding of the programs and culture within Code 600, increase scientists’ understanding of the resources available within Code 500 for developing new concepts, and to foster collaboration between Code 500 and Code 600 on new space flight technology ideas and concepts. William Brinckerhoff (690) and Rajat Bindlish (617) “graduated” from the program on October 9.
photo of Brinckerhoff receiving certificate photo of Bindlish receiving certificate

Presidential Early Career Awards

07/10/2019
We congratulate Giada Arney, Shawn Domagal-Goldman and Jennifer Stern, on receiving Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The Whitehouse web page describes the awards as, “Established in 1996, the PECASE acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating departments and agencies.”

Giada Arney, is recognized for far-reaching influence in predicting, observing, and communicating about habitability and the potential for life beyond Earth. Shawn Domagal-Goldman, is recognized for his work on the physical models of exoplanets, and Jennifer Stern, for her work on Mars habitability and life detection. Congratulations Giada, Shawn and Jennifer, on this outstanding achievement, and for representing our scientific community here at the Goddard Space Flight Center.

2019 Government and Commercial Invention of the Year

05/28/2019
Congratulations to Keith Gendreau (Code 662), Zaven Arzoumanian (Code 662), and Steven Kenyon (Code 543). NASA’s Inventions and Contributions Board have selected the winner for the 2019 Government and Commercial Invention of the Year, and the winner is Miniaturized High Speed Modulated X-Ray source (MXS).

Developed in support of the NICER instrument, the MXS is a small, low cost option for high-speed modulation of X-ray intensity. The miniaturized X-ray source can be modulated in intensity from completely off to full intensity, over 100 keV, on subnanosecond timescales. The high speed switching capability and miniature size make possible many new technologies including X-ray-based communication, compact time resolved X-ray diffraction, novel X-ray fluorescence instruments, low precise dose medical X-rays, and more.

Thank you Keith, Zaven and Steve for representing Goddard while advancing research and development in a field that benefits all of us.

Our Years With Piers

04/02/2019
photo of Compton Tucker speaking at a podium in front of a large photo of Piers on a spacewalk
On March 29, 2019, Piers Sellers’s friends and colleagues at Goddard celebrated his life and work with a colloquium: “Our Years with Piers.” Host Compton Tucker reminisced about decades of friendship with the beloved scientist, astronaut and science communicator. Musicians also performed a unique composition inspired by Sellers’ observations in space. Guy Sellers, Piers’ brother, recounted their childhood in Britain and colleagues traveled from near and far to participate in the symposium.

Poster Blowout 2019 is in the books!

02/27/2019
photo of people at the poster party

Photos from this year's Poster Blowout are available now. Congratulations to everyone, especially this year's winners!

Five Teams Win NASA DALI Awards to Advance Future Lunar Missions

02/20/2019
The agency’s Development and Advancement of Lunar Instrumentation, or DALI, program recently awarded 10 teams each about $4 million in funding to mature spacecraft based instruments for use in future lander missions including those offered by commercial ventures. These instruments, which are supposed to have reached a high level of technology readiness by the time funding ends in three years, will support scientific investigations, human exploration, lunar mining, and other in-situ lunar-resource activities. Of the 10 awards, half went to teams involving Goddard experts, who are either serving as principal investigators or co-investigators. The five teams are Submillimeter Solar Observation Lunar Volatiles Experiment (SSOLVE), Characterization of Regolith and Trace Economic Resources (CRATER), Bulk Elemental Composition Analyzer (BECA), Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE), and Lunar Environment Monitoring Station (LEMS). Congratulations to these teams! Read more starting at page 5 of Cutting Edge.

NASA Goddard Year in Review - 2018

12/07/2018
aerial view of Goddard
Just outside Washington, D.C., Goddard is home to hundreds of scientific missions. We operate Hubble. We manage communications between mission control and astronauts aboard the International Space Station. our scientists stare into the Sun, grind up meteorites for signs of life's building blocks, look into the farthest reaches of space, and untangle the mysteries of our own changing world. Goddard engineers construct sensitive instruments, build telescopes that peer into the cosmos, and operate the test chambers that ensure those satellites' survival.

Enjoy some of the highlights from our 2018 trip around the Sun!

Goddard heliophysicists Jeff Newmark and Nat Gopalswamy featured in Cutting Edge

10/23/2018
photo of Jeff and Nat An observational technique first proposed more than four decades ago to measure three important processes necessary for the formation of the solar wind — the source of disturbances in Earth’s upper atmosphere — will be demonstrated for the first time next year. Goddard heliophysicists Nat Gopalswamy and Jeff Newmark plan to demonstrate BITSE — short for the Balloon-borne Investigation of Temperature and Speed of Electrons in the corona — aboard a high-altitude scientific balloon from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico, next fall. BITSE will detect the density, temperature, and speed of electrons in the corona. The story appears starting on page 7 in Goddard's "Cutting Edge" technology magazine.

SEEC: New Exoplanet Collaboration Seeks to Answer Age-Old Question: Are We Alone?

10/23/2018
photo of Avi and Elisa with Science-on-a-sphere Goddard scientists Avi Mandell and Elisa Quintana are among the scientists participating in the Sellers Exoplanet Environment Collaboration, a cross-disciplinary research effort named after the late Piers Sellers. The collaboration is now funding 16 cross-disciplinary research teams that are working with already-existing analytical tools, such as 3-D general-circulation and stellar-outflow models, to see how they could be adapted or modified to run simulations that would advance exoplanet science. The story runs in Goddard's technology magazine, "Cutting Edge" starting on page 13.

Alex Young to receive 2018 AGU Athelstan Spilhaus Award

09/10/2018
photo of Alex speaking The Associate Director of Science in the Heliophysics Division, Alex Young, has been selected to receive the 2018 AGU Athelstan Spilhaus Award! This award is given in recognition for “enhancement of the public engagement with Earth and space sciences, through devoting portions of their career conveying to the general public the excitement, significance, and beauty of the Earth and space sciences.”

Science intern award winners

08/03/2018
The 2018 science intern award winners are Natasha Dacic, Alexandra Hanselman, and Katherine Melbourne. They are pictured here with Colleen Hartman, Blanche Meeson, and Raquel Marshall from the education office.
photograph of the winners and management

2018 John C. Lindsay Award for Space Science

08/03/2018
photo of Jane Rigby Jane Rigby is the winner of the 2018 John C. Lindsay Award for Space Science. Jane is being recognized for her leadership on the Magellan Evolution of Galaxies Spectroscopic and Ultraviolet Reference Atlas (Megasaura). Jane has led the Megasaura project since its inception in 2010.

Science Jamboree was a huge success

07/30/2018
The Science Jamboree on July 25th provided an opportunity to learn more about the amazing breadth of science conducted at Goddard while connecting with colleagues and potential collaborators.

Read about it: Science Jamboree Connects Disciplines and Interns

photo of crowds attending science jamboree
Photos of the event are available.

Congratulations Anne Thompson, 2018 Nordberg Award Winner

06/29/2018
We are thrilled to announce the selection of Anne Thompson as the 2018 Nordberg Award winner. Anne’s incredibly wide ranging research and service, nationally and internationally, makes her such a deserving recipient of this award. Although her research focuses on tropospheric chemistry, it has spanned a broad realm of Earth Science, including seminar work in air/sea exchange of trace gases, the importance of stratosphere-troposphere exchange for ozone, and the interconnection of atmospheric composition and climate. Anne has spent a large part of her time in the chemistry lab as well as in the field, characterizing the distribution of tropospheric ozone from satellites and ground-based measurements.

Anne has been President of the Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution where she led efforts to coordinate global research. She is Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change. Anne is a Fellow of the AMS, AGU and AAAS and she has been elected President of the Atmospheric Sciences Section of the AGU and AMS Councils.

Anne engages people and brings them together to form measurement networks. She has been a driving force in forging the link between ground, suborbital and satellite observations in ozone. Somehow, Anne has also managed to put the training of young scientists in the US and abroad on the front-burner as well. Her research has resulted in more than 260 referred papers and an H-index of >54. Anne is a leader of people, technology and science.

Congratulations Anne!

Gehrels Memorial Meeting

06/06/2018
Gehrels Memorial Meeting
On May 21-22, 2018, over 100 colleagues from around the globe gathered at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the life and career of Neil Gehrels at a memorial symposium. Talks spanned the range of Neil’s scientific interests (cosmic rays, gamma-ray bursts, gravitational waves) and programmatic roles (Compton, Swift, Fermi, and WFIRST), as well as personal reminiscences of a universally admired mentor, colleague, and friend. We were also pleased to publicly announce that, as a result of a generous donation from the Gehrels family, the nationally recognized prize doctoral position offered by the Joint Space-Science Institute will be renamed the Neil Gehrels Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship.

The meeting’s webpage, including talks, can be found here:
https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/conferences/gehrels_memorial

Early Career Poster Session

05/30/2018
Experts from Codes 500 and 600 presented their work to Thomas Zurbuchen during a poster session on May 29.
photo of presenters
From left to right: Colleen Hartman, James MacKinnon, Lauren Andrews, Alex Glocer, Knicole Colon, Thomas Zurbuchen, Kyle Hughes, Nithin Abraham, Ryan Derosa, Amir Jahromi, and Chris Scolese.
photo of Knicole Colon presenting to Thomas Zurbuchen
Knicole Colon presents a poster about exoplanet data to Thomas Zurbuchen.

Goddard's Mars Organic Molecular Analyzer Mass Spectrometer (MOMA-MS) team celebrates major milestone

05/24/2018
photo of MOMA-MS team with shipping box On Wednesday May 16 the MOMA-MS was shipped from Goddard Space Flight Center to Thales Alenia Space in Torino, Italy to begin its integration with other instruments on the ExoMars rover planned to launch toward Mars in 2020. The MOMA instrument is provided to the ExoMars mission with a European and US teaming collaboration that integrates a Goddard linear ion trap mass spectrometer with a French provided gas chromatograph and a laser provided by Germany. The goal of this highly capable instrument is to detect and identify organic material from below the surface of Mars that is delivered to MOMA by a drill on the rover. This drill can acquire sample from up to 2 meters below the surface. At that depth organic molecules are better protected from destruction by the high energy radiation that penetrates through the thin martian atmosphere. The primary goal of the mission is to search for organic molecules of biotic or prebiotic relevance that may give us clues about possible microbial life on ancient Mars at a time where surface water was abundant.

Colleen Hartman leaps into space before TESS

04/30/2018
Carol and Colleen jump in the air in front of rocket Carol Vorderman, famous UK TV host, Board Director for Challenger Center, #1 best-selling math/science education author in the UK, and Honorary Group Captain of the Royal Air Force, joins Dr. Colleen Hartman by leaping into space ahead of the TESS MISSION launch (Falcon 9/TESS in background).

Safety Week, for the win!

04/27/2018
photo of Juri, Brent, and Ryan Injecting levity into the week’s serious subjects, Chief Financial Officer Steve Shinn served as host for Safety Jeopardy, a trivia contest based on the popular television quiz show “Jeopardy!”. Representatives from the Goddard's Sciences and Exploration Directorate claimed the competition’s Safety Cone Award, dethroning the two-time defending champions from the Goddard Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate. The SED team was comprised of Juri Schauerman (690) Brent Gary (698) and Ryan Smallcomb (660).

Claire Parkinson Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

04/19/2018
photo of Claire Parkinson in Antarctica
Claire Parkinson in Antarctica

Claire Parkinson has been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy serves the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue, and useful knowledge. As one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, the Academy convenes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world.

Congratulations Claire!

Aspen 2017 award for collaboration and scientific research

04/01/2018
Dr. Colleen Hartman, Director, interviewed with Dr. Francesco Tombesi for the Aspen 2017 award for collaboration and scientific research between Italy and the United States. video still of Colleen Hartman being interviewed on Italian television

Code 600 Science Year in Review

03/28/2018
On March 26, all four science divisions presented the "Code 600 Science Year in Review," focusing on science accomplishments in calendar year 2017, to executive management. The full presentation is available (internally only) here.

Recent Awards from the American Astronautical Society

03/27/2018
Congratulations to Goddard scientists Ira Thorpe and Jake Slutsky, both in 663, who are part of the LISA Pathfinder (LPF) team, which was recently awarded the 2017 Space Technology Award from the American Astronautical Society. Other Goddard employees who are on the LPF team are Jim O’Donnell, Peiman Maghami, and Oscar Hu in Code 591. Jesse Leitner in Code 300 received the Industrial Leadership Award. Harley Thronson received the AAS President’s Recognition Award for a decade of chairing the Goddard Symposium planning team.
photo of Ira Thorpe and AAS staff photo of Harley and AAS staff
Left: Ira Thorpe with Jim Way and Carol Lane of AAS. Right: Harley Thronson with Jim Way of AAS. Click to enlarge.
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