What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?
I am the deputy project scientist for the Global Precipitation Measuring Mission which is a small group that measures the amount of falling snow before it hits the ground. In addition, our group is helping design an instrument for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission that will remotely sense precipitation rates, including falling snow, throughout the world.
To do my job, I am in offices or I am travelling, and I go all over the country and abroad. The mission includes the Japanese Space Agency as a partner, so I travel to Japan about twice a year. I have also traveled to Canada, Finland, Italy, Korea, and Australia.
One of our instruments I use is operated on a high altitude aircraft which flies above the clouds. The pilot wears an astronaut suit because he flies so high that there is not enough oxygen. Other cool tools are the specialized instruments that can take pictures of individual snowflakes. The pictures are absolutely stunning.
How important is teamwork or collaboration with others to your being able to do your job.
|Photo of Gail Skofronick Jackson. Credit: NASA/Rebecca Roth|
What other things do you find interesting?
What is surprising about me is that I used to be a caver or spelunker. After many years of caving, the National Park Service invited me to go into Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico to help map the cave. This particular cave was later featured by National Geographic. We were in that cave for three solid days, including sleeping. Nowadays I get my mud fix by planting a vegetable garden.
Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?
My favorite book is The Endurance by Caroline Alexander which is about Sir. Ernest Shackleton whose boat “The Endurance” froze in the Antarctic ice just before World War One. The 28 men lived two years on the ice before they were finally rescued. What I find most interesting is that they survived by overcoming the most difficult challenges. I use some of Sir. Shackleton’s leadership skills in the workplace.
|Gail Skofronick Jackson exploring the Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico. Credit: G.S. Jackson|