International Space Station Research Office
Howard G. Levine is the chief scientist for NASA's ISS Research Office at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and a past president of the American Society for Space and Gravitational Research (ASGSR). His primary KSC responsibilities include functioning as NASA project scientist for the life science spaceflight experiments managed out of Kennedy and chairing KSC’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
His master's research centered on various aspects of shellfish aquaculture and his Ph.D. dissertation was on the use of seaweeds for environmental monitoring. After graduation, he was hired by the Marine Biomass project at SUNY Stony Brook, where he was actively involved in field work that ultimately deployed a kelp farm in Long Island Sound, and managed a greenhouse facility designed for the cultivation of seaweeds.
Later, Levine became associated with Abraham D. Krikorian in the Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at SUNY Stony Brook and the early CHROMEX spaceflight experiments that employed NASA's Plant Growth Unit during missions STS-29, STS-41, and STS-51. These were the first space shuttle life science experiments managed out of Kennedy. He subsequently became a member of the Life Sciences Contract at the center where he was a senior research scientist and supervisor for the Project Science Coordinator group. His efforts primarily centered on the development of procedures for the growth of plants in space, interacting with outside principal investigators involved in spaceflight experiments, and mentoring undergraduate students in Kennedy's Space and Life Sciences Training Program (SLSTP). In 2004, Howard was hired by NASA. He has participated in over 45 spaceflight experiments either as a PI, a science team member or in a project management capacity.
Levine has extensive parabolic flight experience and over 70 space-related publications that include results from both plant (Arabidopsis, wheat, flax, soybean, corn, daylily, Haplopappus, Ceratophyllum) and animal (sea urchins, mice) research plus hardware and protocol development efforts.