Editor's Note: Dr. Abdalati left NASA in 2008.
Meet Dr. Waleed Abdalati: Head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
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Dr. Waleed Abdalati, the Head of NASA's Cryospheric Sciences Branch, at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, Md. conducts research on high-latitude glaciers and ice sheets using satellite and airborne instruments. He has led or participated in eight field expeditions to remote regions of the Greenland ice sheet and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic. From 2000 to the present, he has been Manager of NASA's Cryospheric Sciences Program, overseeing NASA-funded research efforts on glaciers, ice sheets, sea ice, and polar climate. For the last four years, he has served as Program Scientist for NASA's Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), which has as its primary objective to increase our understanding of changes in the Earth's ice cover. Dr. Abdalati also worked as a research scientist at NASA's GSFC 1996 through 2000.
Dr. Abdalati holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado (1996); a Masters Degree from the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado (1991), and a Bachelors Degree from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (cum laude) at Syracuse University, N.Y. (1986).
He has received numerous NASA awards including the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2004), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Special Act Award (2004), and the NASA Agency Group Honor Award (2003). He also received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (1999) and recognition from the American Geophysical Union’s International Glaciological Society.
In addition to managing the agency’s Cryospheric Sciences Program, Dr. Abdalati has held positions as head of Oceans and Ice Branch at NASA GSFC (since 2004), NASA program scientist for various projects (since 2000), science analyst for various organizations and a professor of remote sensing, climatology and environmental systems (1992). He has taught and lectured students at John's Hopkins University, Baltimore and the University of Colorado. Dr. Abdalati has also reached out to education and public organizations. He has also made appearances on television, local news channels and radio shows, including CNN, NBC, and National Geographic’s Today Show. He is an Earth and Sky Science Adviser, mentor to two Ohio State University graduate students and has been a part of the Goddard Teacher Ambassador Program.