Geography professor named NASA’s chief scientist

Geography professor named NASA’s chief scientist

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US: Waleed Abdalati has been named as NASA’s chief scientist, effective January 3, 2011. Abdalati is currently the Director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He also is an associate professor in the university’s geography department.

Abdalati will serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on agency science programmes, strategic planning and the evaluation of related investments. Between 1998 and 2008, during his first tenure at NASA, Abdalati served as the head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He also managed the Cryospheric Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

His research has focused on the study of polar ice cover using satellite and airborne instruments. He has led or participated in nine field and airborne campaigns in the Arctic and the Antarctic.

Abdalati will represent all of the scientific endeavours in the agency, ensuring they are aligned with and fulfil the administration’s science objectives. He will advocate for NASA science in the context of those broader government science agendas and work closely with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Space Travel