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Public Invited to Free Lecture at NASA Goddard: NASA Science at the Poles
Tom Neumann

Tom pokes through a hole in the pit while digging for propane tanks during the ROGUE: Real-time Observations of Greenland’s Under-ice Environment mission. The goal of the ROGUE project is to examine the nature and cause of short-term ice velocity changes near Swiss Camp, Greenland, by observing interactions between the ice sheet, the atmosphere and the bed. (Image courtesy of Nestor Rial)
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Greenland map

Map of Greenland, with Swiss Camp region indicated by the box on the left. (Credit: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. -- The public is invited to a free talk to called "Penguins, Polar Bears, and Laser Beams from Space: NASA Science at the Poles," by NASA scientist Dr. Tom Neumann.

The talk is part of the Gerald Soffen Lecture Series and will be held at the Visitor's Center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 7 p.m. EDT (doors open at 6:45 p.m.). The talk is about one hour and will be accompanied by satellite image and end with a question and answer session. Registration is requested on-line at

Dr. Neumann has worked extensively in the polar regions, and will combine travel, polar bears and penguins with cutting-edge science from the NASA Cryospheric Sciences Lab from the snowflake to the massive ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica.

"Come and ask anything you've ever wanted to know about the polar regions, but were afraid to ask," Neumann said. "All questions will be answered, all fears (may be) allayed!"

Ever wonder about the name of that road to the NASA Goddard Visitor Center (ICESat Road)? Though NASA may be best known for human space flight and the Hubble space telescope, NASA Goddard is a national leader in the earth sciences, and combines satellite development with aircraft campaigns and ground-based activities. In this presentation, NASA cyrospheric scientist Tom Neumann gives an overview of NASA science in the polar regions, including the upcoming satellite, a next-generation laser altimeter called ICESat-2. By the end, you'll never look at ICESat Road in the same way!

The Gerald Soffen lecture series is dedicated to Dr. Gerald Soffen (1926-2000) who led the science team for NASA's Viking program, was Director of Life Sciences at NASA Headquarters, Project scientist for NASA's Earth Observing System, and created NASA Academy, NASA's premiere leadership training internship. The Viking 2 lander was posthumously named after Dr. Soffen and a crater on Mars was named "Soffen." He was best known, however, for his passion for inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is physically located at 8800 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, Md., 20771. The Goddard Visitor Center is located off ICESat Road (formerly Soil Conservation Road). Once on ICESat Road, turn left into the Visitor Center prior to the security checkpoint.

To register on-line, please go to:

For directions to the Visitor's Center from Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, visit:

For more information about Dr. Thomas Neumann, visit:

Goddard Release No. 12-021

Rob Gutro
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.