Darlene Squibb Makes Goddard An Environmentally Friendly Place
Inspired by a NASA movie about Earth’s changing environment, Darlene Squibb was moved to change careers to be part of the environmental team at Goddard.
Environmental Protection Specialist
Organization She Works For:
Code 250, Medical and Environmental Division
What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?
What I feel most rewarding is being is being able to share awareness of our human footprint on the Earth and how we can lessen that. I try to encourage that even small actions on everyone’s part can amount to a big difference for the environment. I hope that carries either to or from personal living habits at home.
What is a typical day like?
My daily activities vary from day-to-day. One day I may be at my desk or in meetings, and the next I may be outdoors investigating an environmental matter or just out and about on an environmental outreach effort.
Photo of Darlene Squibb in the outdoors that she appreciates so much. Credit: NASA/W. Hrybyk
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job?
Participating in Center-wide outreach events such as Launchfest, Maryland’s Place in Space, and Explore@NASA Goddard has been the coolest thing. To be able to share an element of the Center that people don’t realize is part of the day-to-day operations here has been great. Whether it is demonstrating recycling along with supporting food waste to bring to USDA compost research, or helping people find their place in the Bay watershed I feel proud to be part of the broader perspective.
What makes Goddard a great place to work?
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is an exciting place because there are all kinds of interesting work that occurs here. I am particularly inspired by Goddard’s Earth science and other Earth related work.
Meeting and interacting with the many talented people at NASA Goddard. Many times we take for granted that we work with some of the best and brightest and working with them seeing their accomplishments serves as inspiration for me.
I’ve always been in close proximity to NASA facilities, but becoming a NASA employee was not on my radar. As a student at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla., I never equated my fascination of watching the space shuttle launches with being a NASA employee. I later moved to Maryland, close to Goddard and became a Goddard employee. After starting my career here, our office was on a retreat and I saw the IMAX space film, “Blue Planet,” which highlights mankind’s influences on the changing Earth. The film was so inspiring; I was moved to change careers so I can be a part of reducing the human footprint.
I began taking continuing education studies on the environment and supported a recycling committee in the Greenbelt, Md. community. Being environmentally conscious is something we all can do every day. Through my community experiences, I learned the importance of public education and communicating the key messages related to protecting the environment. Knowing that I work with colleagues that research various aspects of the Earth’s environment is inspiring.
How important is teamwork or collaboration with others to your being able to do your job?
NASA as an Agency is built on teamwork. I am fortunate to work with a great environmental team in our Division at Goddard. We are all are supportive of each other’s work, which is important to all of us being successful in our work. Also, to work with a broader Center green team on waste reduction has been enriching as well.
Do you have a favorite way or place to kick back, relax, or have fun?
My son and I enjoy taking day trips, like going to the Chesapeake Bay, which often lends itself to opportunities to share with my son the importance of being a good environmental steward. We always seem to find our way to some kind of shoreline either at the Bay or the ocean. I also enjoy running for exercise and for clearing my mind at the end of the day.
What lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard?
Make yourself available to learn about all the great work that goes on within NASA and here at Goddard. Join in where you can to make Goddard a real community. Take advantage of educational opportunities and share them with friends and family. Reach beyond your own individual work to learn the great things that go on here.
Squibb’s coordination of Goddard’s recycling program has been recognized in many ways. The Agency’s Environmental Functional Review always finds Goddard’s recycling program to be stronger compared to other Centers. As a result of Squibb’s diligent education and outreach efforts and taking a team approach with multiple organizations, the Center’s recyclable waste continues to improve yearly.
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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.