Center Snapshot: Rosemary Baize
Image above: After working in several areas across NASA Langley, Rosemary Baize says she has found a home in the Science Directorate. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith
By: Michael Finneran
When Rosemary Baize joined NASA's Langley Research Center in 1988, she was an aerospace technologist working in wind tunnels. She supported tests on Pegasus boosters, was a project engineer and served as a facility safety head.
She didn't stop there.
Baize went on to work in a variety of areas across Langley, including technology commercialization, new business, cost analysis and branch management, among other things. She also spent two years at Kennedy Space Center in Florida doing tech commercialization and supporting improvements to the center's launch infrastructure and operations.
In her current assignment, Baize is science manager -- formerly the acting calibration manager-- for the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) mission.
CLARREO, scheduled for launch in 2017, will monitor the pulse of the Earth's atmosphere to better understand climate change. It's a major undertaking for Langley and for the Science Directorate, the place Baize considers her professional home.
"I think I've found my purpose working in the Science Directorate. I'm really motivated by the work we do and the ability to benefit humanity through our results," says Baize. "I can't think of a more rewarding thing to do for my children."
As calibration manager for CLARREO, she worked with several teams of scientists and engineers to ensure the instruments aboard the spacecraft will collect and provide data consistently and accurately.
"If your instrument is degrading over time, it introduces errors, and you need a way to monitor that and if possible, correct for it," Baize said.
CLARREO will provide highly accurate climate records. The results will be used to test, validate and improve climate models, which means improved forecasting.
CLARREO was identified as a mission of national importance in the National Research Council (NRC) report “Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond.” Known as the Decadal Survey, the report addresses key scientific questions and societal objectives on which to focus Earth and environmental observations.
When she's not doing Langley work, Baize and husband Dan spend most of their time "doing kid stuff" with children Brent, 10, and Rachel, 7. Dan Baize also works at Langley as deputy director of the Exploration and Space Operations Directorate. The children swim and play soccer, and Brent is a Cub Scout. Both are involved in Kids United to Help (KUTH), a group started by a local mom who felt that children in the neighborhood "had too much stuff and didn’t really appreciate how easy their lives were compared to other families that were struggling," Baize said.
Children in the group give back to the community by helping the less fortunate. In the process, "they get to see a different side of the world," said Baize, who serves on the organization’s board. Most recently, the KUTH kids packaged meals to send to Haiti.
Baize has a master’s degree in business administration from The College of William & Mary, a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University.