Meet the Scientist

Arctic & Earth SIGNs "Meet a NASA Scientist" sessions are designed to provide an opportunity for youth and educators to connect in real time with a NASA scientist and discuss topics of mutual interest. The sessions are delivered through a partnership with the NASA Langley Research Center and are facilitated by Bonnie Murray, NASA Education Specialist.

meet rusty low

Dr. Rusty Low is the science lead for NASA’s GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper App, which engages citizen and community scientists around the world. As a child, Dr. Low wanted to be a time traveler. Through paleoecology and archaeology, she is able to travel back in time to learn about how organisms lived in their environments. In these Meet the Scientist sessions, She spoke with over 50 seventh-grade students in Delta Junction, Alaska. The students will be doing fieldwork to use the GLOBE Observer App to look for mosquito larvae when the snow melts. To learn more about Dr. Low's presentation, see the NASA Share the Science Page.

MEET Dr. Ralph Lorenz

Dr. Ralph Lorenz is a planetary scientist at John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. He studies the surfaces and atmospheres of planetary bodies like Venus, Titan, Mars and Earth and has participated in many NASA missions. He also is interested in engineering and designing probes, sensors and other tools to help explore these planets. In this meet the scientist session, Dr. Lorenz and 4-H youth from different regions of South East and South Central Alaska discuss the solar power rovers that the youth designed themselves, and discuss his work on the Mars Insight Lander Mission.

Key Topics:

  • Solar Power on Mars

  • Mars Insight Lander Mission

  • Alaska 4-H Solar Mars River Enginnering Challenge

Read more about Dr. Lorenz and his work.

Meet Dr. Eric Danner

Dr. Eric Danner is a fisheries biologist from NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center in Santa Cruz, CA. Salcha Elementary (Salcha, Alaska) principal teacher Tori Brannen discusses her family reliance on salmon, and Dr. Danner discusses how and why salmon are studied. View Dr. Danner's powerpoint slides.

MEET Dr. Erika Podest

Dr. Erika Podest is a scientist with the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She uses satellite sensor data to monitor how changes in freezing and thawing in the far Northern latitudes influences how ecosystems cycle carbon and water. This meet the scientist session offered teachers in a Climate and Energy Connections in my Community course and opportunity to connect participation in the GLOBE Trees campaign to the broader climate change picture and renewable biomass energy.

Key Topics:

  • Carbon cycling

  • GLOBE Trees

Read more about Dr. Podest and her work in Alaska.


Senior Research Scientists at NASA's Langley Research Center, Science Directorate/Climate Science Branch. Paul studies Earth's global energy cycle using satellite observations of the Earth-atmosphere system from multiple sources. He develops new data systems and products at local, regional, and global scales to more efficently understand and use renewable energy sources. This meet the scientist session offered teachers in a Climate and Energy Connections in my Community course to discuss opportunities to implement renewable energy projects locally.

Key Topics:

  • Earth's Energy Budget

  • Solar Energy assessment in Kongiganak, AK and Cherokee, NC

  • GLOBE Cloud and Temperature observations

Meet the Scientist Peter Griffith.mp4

MEET Dr. Peter Griffith

Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office Chief Support Scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Peter studies how carbon is stored and released on our continent and around the world, and helps lead the NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment. His airborne missions flew near GLOBE and Arctic & Earth SIGNs schools, and used ground penetrating radar to map the ground subsidence due to thawing and fire. This meet the scientist session offered students and Dr. Griffith the opportunity to discuss their science with each other.

Key Topics:

Hear more from Dr. Griffith in his NASA Explorers video or his Coal vs. banana: a 90 second explanation of the carbon crisis video

Meet Brian Campbell

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Senior NASA Earth Science Education and Communication Specialist. Brian is the Trees Around the GLOBE Campaign leader. Brian Campbell is on the ICESat-2 mission, part of which will investigate the elevation of the earth and estimate tree canopy heights. GLOBE, one of NASA's citizen science ground-truthing programs, is helping to determine the accuracy of the measurements the satellite is through the GLOBE observer app's newest program to measure tree heights.

Key Topics:

  • Trees Around the GLOBE Campaign

  • Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) Mission

  • GLOBE Observer Trees

Read more about Brian or watch a video about the Trees Around the GLOBE campaign.

Find activities, games, and videos on the ICESat-2 mission here. Watch this movie that features Brian!

Meet Dr. Kelly Brunt

Cryospheric scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Kelly Brunt is one of the scientists on the ICESat-2 mission, which will investigate why, and how much, our cryosphere (forzen parts of the earth system) is changing in a warming climate.

Kelly delivered two sessions for Arctic and Earth SIGNs communities.

Key Topics:

  • Snow, ice, and permafrost research

  • Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) Mission

  • GLOBE Cryosphere

Read more about Kelly and the ICESat-2 mission. or watch a video about Kelly and her team's Antarctic science traverse!

Find activities, games, and videos on the ICESat-2 mission here.

Meet Dr. Kenji Yoshikawa

Permafrost Scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Kenji is the creator of the GLOBE Frost Tube protocol to monitor the changes in the seasonal freezing and thawing dynamics of the soil. He has traveled to every village, town, and city in Alaska to install frost tubes.

Key Topics:

  • Permafrost and Soil Active Layer research

  • GLOBE Frost Tube

Read more about the Dr. Yoshikawa's work, or meet his superhero alter ego "Tunnel Man."

MEET Dr. Dave Verbyla

Remote Sensing Scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dave works on NASA funded research projects (among many others) using GIS and NASA's Landsat to analyze historic trends in a changing Alaska.

Dave has done two meet the scientist sessions with Arctic and Earth SIGNs classrooms, courses, and afterschool clubs.

Key Topics:

  • Landsat research

  • Measuring snow and plants from space

  • NASA Earth Observatory

Read more about the Dr. Verbyla's work

MEET Dr. Marilee Roel

Atmospheric Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center helping lead the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III on International Space Station (SAGE III)

Key Topics:

  • Journey to a NASA science career

  • SAGE III research

  • Ozone and atmosphere and climate change

Read more about the SAGE III

MEET Joy Ng & Julie Malingowski

SnowEx Project Collaborators from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Joy) and NOAA National Weather Service (Julie)

Key Topics:

  • Science Careers in Communication and Research

  • SnowEx Campaign

  • Snow and Water Cycle

Read more about Joy and Julie and the SnowEx Campaign

Meet Dr. Joey Comiso

Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Key Topics:

  • Becoming a Scientist

  • Polar Ice Research

Read more about Joey and his sea ice research