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The Path That Nearly Wasn't Followed
Who Are NASA's Earth Explorers?

The student thinking about El Niño. The scientist studying climate. And the farmer looking at satellite images. All of these people are Earth Explorers. They're all curious about how Earth works. This is a story about a NASA Earth Explorer.

Carlos Del Castillo standing on a boat and holding a metal pole over the water
Image above: Carlos gathers data about the water. Credit: NASA
Carlos Del Castillo wanted to explore the oceans. But then he got seasick the first time he went on a research boat. Seasickness is when the motion of a boat or ship makes you feel sick.

Carlos wondered what he would do. What if his body couldn't adjust to the water? But after a few days he felt okay. He decided to keep exploring the oceans.

Now Carlos is an ocean scientist at NASA. He still gets a bit squeamish in rough weather. But he's been able to deal with his problem pretty well. So well that he just got an award from the president.

The award was given to him at the White House. He got it because of the important ocean work he's done.
Carlos was born in Puerto Rico. He's been on or near the ocean most of his life.

"My first vehicle, unlike most kids, was not only a bike, but a small sailboat," he said. "My love for the ocean has always played a great role in my life."

Carlos studied ocean science at the University of Puerto Rico. He also went to the University of South Florida. He got to see many parts of the world. He's been to the Caribbean and the Arabian Sea. He's also been to the Gulf of Mexico.

Carlos started at NASA in 2000. He's been studying the coasts using satellites. He even helped write a book on the topic. The book is set to come out later this year.

See previous Earth Explorers articles:
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Adapted from NASA Press Release 04-308
Edited by Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies