August 10, 2018

August 10, 2018

GESTAR held its seventh anniversary celebration on Thursday, August 2, 2018 at the Barney and Bea Rec Center at NASA Goddard. Part of the festivities involved the presentations of the GESTAR Annual Excellence Awards for 2017-2018. GESTAR thanks the following awardees for their contributions. Congratulations!

Abhishek Chatterjee: For his extraordinary leadership in the Science Team of the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and his outstanding PI work, which significantly advanced the use of NASA modeling products in satellite missions and field campaigns.

Kel Elkins: Under intense deadline pressure during a highly active Atlantic hurricane season, he created relevant, timely, and beautiful visualizations of GPM data that were used by media outlets around the world.

Angie Espiritu: For her extraordinary leadership in the GESTAR Contracts arena, her indefatigable Can-Do spirit, and her calm under fire in the face of overwhelming amounts of proposal submissions.

Alex Kekesi: Under intense deadline pressure during a highly active Atlantic hurricane season, he revamped the GPM visualization pipeline and led a team creating relevant, timely, and beautiful visualizations that were used by media outlets around the world.

Priscilla Mohammed: A vital member of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) Mission, she designed and implemented a comprehensive Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) detection and mitigation strategy for calibrated L1B brightness temperature.

Jinzheng Peng: For sustained, major contribution to the calibration and support of the NASA Soil Moisture Active/Passive (SMAP) radiometer system.

Bridget Seegers: For her role in leading and coordinating the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) project, a multi-agency collaborative effort with the US EPA, NOAA and USGS.

Yan Soldo: For creating a new satellite data product known as the RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) based on Aquarius radiometers and scatterometers.

Susan Strahan: For her continued outstanding contributions to our understanding of the processes of Antarctic ozone depletion and recovery.

Junhua Liu, Zhining Tao and Henry Selkirk: For their generous and unstinting efforts as Foreign National escorts for Fei Liu during the past twelve months. 


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, has been in operation for 50 years -- chartered on May 1, 1959. The Goddard Space Flight Center is a major U.S. laboratory for developing and operating unmanned scientific spacecraft. During the past 50-years, Goddard has been at the forefront in exploration, in technological achievement, in space science, and in studying the Earth as a system.


GESTAR conducts research collaboratively, mainly within NASA GSFC's Earth Sciences Division, but also with Solar Systems Exploration Division, Office of Education, and Office of Public Affairs. Scientists and staff at GESTAR, in collaboration with NASA and other investigators, conceive and develop new, space-based missions; provide mission requirements; conduct research that explains the behavior of Earth and other planetary systems; and create engaging media that tell NASA's story of exploration and discovery on Earth and beyond.


Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other government sponsors.