William E. Dietrich
WILLIAM E. DIETRICH (NAS) is professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Dietrich’s research focuses on the processes that underlie the evolution of landscapes. His research group and collaborators are developing geomorphic transport laws for soil production, weathering and transport, and river and debris flow incision into bedrock. They are exploring the processes that control the sorting of sediment on river beds, the transport of sediment in steep, coarse bedded channels, the routing of sediment through river networks, the influence of sediment supply on river morphodynamics, the entrainment of sediment to form debris flows, and the dispersion and deposition of sediment across floodplains. New computational approaches are being tested to predict the size and location of shallow landslides. He is collaborating in an intensive field investigation to identify, quantify, and model the processes that will control the co-evolution of climate, vegetation and water availability in Northern California forested landscapes. He is part of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission to Mars, and is collaborating on related field studies of the soil development and landscape evolution in the hyper arid Atacama Desert in Chile. Dr. co-founded the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping. As part of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics he is co-developing a digital terrain model for predicting salmon populations from digital terrain data. Other collaborative studies are underway to link ecologic and geomorphic processes. He earned his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Washington. He has served on the Academies’ 2017-2027 Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space.
Chelle L. Gentemann
CHELLE L. GENTEMANN, Co-Chair, is a senior scientist at Earth and Space Research where she works on air-sea interactions, upper ocean dynamics, and passive microwave sea surface temperatrures. Prior to that she was with Remote Sensing Systems where she focused on air-sea interactions, diurnal warming, passive-microwave SST retrievals, instrument calibration, and radio frequency interference. Dr. Gentemann participates in a number of science teams and committees, including the Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperatures (GHRSST). She has been the principal investigator for the US component of GHRSST, the Multi-sensor Improved Sea Surface Temperature project, since 2003. She was awarded the National Oceanographic Partnership Program’s Excellence in Partnering Award and the American Geophysical Union’s Charles S. Falkenberg Award. She received her Ph.D. in meteorology and physical oceanography from the University of Miami. Dr. Gentemann has served on several National Academies’ committees including the Intelligence Science and Technology Experts Group (ISTEG), the Committee on a Framework for Analyzing the Needs for Continuity of NASA-Sustained Remote Sensing Observations of the Earth from Space, , and the Standing Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space.
EVERETTE JOSEPH is director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Previously he was the director of the University at Albany’s Atmospheric Sciences Research Center (ASRC). He is also the SUNY Empire Innovations Professor in Atmospheric Sciences. Before joining University at Albany, he served as director of the Howard University Program in Atmospheric Sciences (HUPAS), director of the Howard University Beltsville Center for Climate System Observations, and deputy director of the NOAA Center for Atmospheric Science at Howard University. Most recently, Dr. Joseph served as co-lead for the development of the New York State Mesonet, which is a $25 million dollar project for development of an early warning system to aid state emergency managers and to assist the public in mitigation of the effects of hazardous weather. He also leads an international team of scientists from the U.S. and Taiwan in the study weather extremes and decision-making and he helped lead the development of a major field observation program with university, government, and industry partners to improve satellite capabilities to monitor the atmosphere from space and the skill of atmospheric models to better forecast weather, climate, and air quality. Dr. Joseph received his Ph.D. in physics at the University at Albany. He has served on the National Academies’ Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate.
George J. Komar
GEORGE J. KOMAR is a consultant. He retired as associate director in the Earth Science Division and program manager for the Earth Science Technology Office at NASA. He has over thirty-five years’ experience in engineering, program, project and operational management. Mr. Komar has also served as the deputy associate administrator for Technology for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, where he facilitated the development and optimization of advanced technology. He served as the program manager for the Landsat 7 Program, an Earth imaging satellite with eight spectral bands and resolution from 15 to 60 meters, and the TOPEX/Poseidon Program. Prior to his NASA experience, he served in the Air Force in various capacities. In his 21 years of service, he flew various missions, as well as coordinated all Air Force headquarters activities for strategic airlift weapons system acquisition programs. He has received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Achievement, as well as the NASA Exceptional Leadership Medal. Mr. Komar has an M.B.A. in management and finance from the Hardin-Simmons University, as well as a B.S. in program management from the Defense Service Management College. He has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
Anna M. Michalak
ANNA M. MICHALAK is a faculty member at the Carnegie Institute for Science in the Department of Global Ecology. She is also a professor in the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford University. Prior to joining Carnegie, she was the Frank and Brooke Transue Faculty Scholar and associate professor at the University of Michigan. Dr. Michalak studies the cycling and emissions of greenhouse gases at urban to global scales – scales directly relevant to informing climate and policy – primarily through the use of atmospheric observations. She also explores climate change impacts on freshwater and coastal water quality via influences on nutrient delivery to, and on conditions within, water bodies. Her approach is focused on the development of spatiotemporal statistical data fusion methods that optimize the use of limited in situ and satellite data. She is the lead author of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan (2011), a former editor of the journal Water Resources Research (2013 – 2017), chair of the scientific advisory board for the European Integrated Carbon Observation System (2016 – present), member of the OCO-2 science team (2011 – present), and former member of the NASA Advisory Council Early Science Subcommittee (2009 – 2017). Dr. Michalak is the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (nominated by NASA), the NSF CAREER award, and the Leopold Fellowship in environmental leadership, among other recognitions. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in environmental engineering from the University of Guelph, Canada. Dr. Michalak has served on the Academies’ Committee on Models of the World for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
R. S. Nerem
R. STEVEN NEREM is a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. He is also a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) and associate director of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research. Dr. Nerem specializes in analyzing and interpreting satellite measurements of sea level change, including satellite altimeter, satellite gravity, and other space geodetic measurements. Previously, he worked as a geophysicist at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and was on the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He is also a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He was a lead author for the IPCC fifth Assessment Report. He earned his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas. He previously served as a member of the Academies’ Committee on a Strategy to Mitigate the Impact of Sensor De-scopes and De-manifests on the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft.
ERIC J. RIGNOT, NAS, is the Donald Bren Professor of Earth System Science in the Department of Earth System Science, University of California Irvine, CA, and a senior research scientist and joint faculty appointee by the chief scientist at Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA. Dr. Rignot has 26 years of experience in glaciology, polar physical oceanography, ice-ocean interaction, synthetic-aperture radar applications for ice sheet mass balance, low-frequency radar sounding of glaciers, airborne surveying of Greenland and Antarctica, and numerical ice sheet modeling. He is a principal investigator on several NASA-funded projects to study the mass balance of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets using radar interferometry combined with other methods; the interactions of ice shelves with the ocean; and the dynamic retreat of Patagonian glaciers. He received the JPL Lew Allen Director's Award for Excellence in 1998 and was the recipient of NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement awards in 2003 and 2007. He also received a NASA Outstanding Team Leadership award in 2012 and NASA Group Achievement awards in 2009, 2011, and 2013. He is a member of CLIVAR and NASA’s Sea Level Change Team and is the science lead for Operation IceBridge, which uses aircraft-based instruments to study annual changes in thickness of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets. He is also a member of the Science Definition Team for the NISAR, a dedicated U.S. and Indian interferometric synthetic aperture radar mission. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He served as a member of the Academies’ Committee on a Framework for Analyzing the Needs for Continuity of NASA-Sustained Remote Sensing Observations of the Earth from Space.
CHRISTOPHER S. RUF is a professor of atmospheric science and electrical engineering at the University of Michigan in the Climate and Space Department. Dr. Ruf is principal investigator for the NASA CYGNSS Earth Venture Mission, which measures ocean surface wind speed in tropical cyclones with rapid sampling using a constellation of eight microsatellites in low earth orbit. CYGNSS successfully launched on December 15, 2016. His research interests include remote sensing technology and earth science applications related to climate and weather studies. Previously, Dr. Ruf was on the faculty of the Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and on the technical staff of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech. He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He served as a member of the Academies’ Committee on the Scientific Uses of the Radio Spectrum, the Weather Panel for the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future (the 2007 Earth Science Decadal), the Committee on Radio Frequencies, and is currently serving on the Panel on Climate Variability and Change for the Decadal Survey for Earth Science and Applications from Space.
Duane E. Waliser
DUANE E. WALISER is chief scientist of the Earth Science and Technology Directorate at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which formulates, develops, and operates of a wide range of Earth science remote sensing instruments for NASA’s airborne and satellite program. He provides science guidance and scrutiny to mission concept, development and implementation across the breadth of JPL’s Earth Science program. Dr. Waliser is also a visiting associate at the Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology, as well as an adjunct professor for the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at the University of California. Dr. Waliser’s principle research interests lie in weather-climate prediction and predictability, with emphasis on the Tropics, Earth system processes and the Earth's water cycle. His recent research focuses on utilizing new and emerging satellite data sets to study weather and climate, as well as advance model simulation and forecast capabilities, particularly for long-range weather and short-term climate applications. Previously, he served as the principle scientist for the Water and Carbon Cycle Group at JPL. He was also an adjunct associate professor at the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres, part of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. Dr. Waliser has earned multiple honors and awards, including the NASA Group Achievement Award, the JPL People Leadership Award, the JPL Magellan Award, and a fellowship from the American Meteorological Society. He holds a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of California, San Diego. He has previously served as a member of the National Academies’ Committee on Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability, the Committee on Developing a U.S. Research Agenda to Advance Subseasonal to Seasonal Forecasting, and the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate.
Eric F. Wood
ERIC F. WOOD, NAE, is the Susan Dod Brown Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. His research area is hydroclimatology with an emphasis on the modeling and analysis of the global water and energy cycles through land surface modeling, satellite remote sensing, and data analysis. This includes the monitoring and forecasting of drought, hydrologic impacts from climate change, and seasonal hydrological forecasting. Recently, he has developed state of the art, coupled water and energy process based models that include the Variable Infiltration Capacity model, which is now one of the most widely-used land surface models. He participates in Global Energy and Water EXchange (GEWEX) activities to develop long-term data records for climate studies. He has been a Science Team member on the NASA Aqua/Terra AMSR-E and MODIS instruments, the NASA Global Precipitation Mission and the NASA soil moisture SMAP mission. For UNESCO he has guided the development of a Global Flood and Drought Monitoring and Forecasting system. Dr. Wood has received many honors, including a Doctor Honoris Causa from Gent University (Belgium) in 2011, and he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the American Geophysical Union. Dr. Wood received his B.A.Sc. in civil engineering from the University of British Columbia and his S.M., C.E., and Sc.D. in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served the Academies’ Committee on Hydrologic Science and the Committee to Review the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Operations Support Tool for Water Supply.
PING YANG is a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University where he is also department head. He is the holder of the David Bullock Harris Chair in Geosciences, in the College of Geosciences. Dr. Yang is highly interested in the radiative transfer and single-scattering properties of particles in the atmosphere. Specifically, his research concentrates on the development of fast radiative transfer models as it relates to solar and infrared radiation in cloudy and aerosol-dusty regions. Dr. Yang also examines the radiative forcing of ice clouds, using data sets from MODIS, CERES, AIRS, and CALIPSO instruments. Previously, he worked as an associate research scientist in the Goddard Earth Sciences and Technology Center at the University of Maryland. Dr. Yang has received multiple honors and awards, including the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the NASA Group Achievement Award to ACCRI Aircraft Cloud Effects Team, and he was elected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2015. He has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.