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Ian Brosnan

Ian Brosnan

Principle Investigator, NASA Earth eXchange (NEX), Earth Science Deputy Division Chief (Acting)

Division: Earth Science Division (SG)

Professional Biography

Dr. Ian G. Brosnan is the principal investigator of the NASA Earth Exchange, a team that combines state-of-the-art supercomputing, Earth system modeling, and NASA remote sensing data to address challenges facing science and society. He also manages Ames Research Center’s contributions to the NASA Earth System Observatory, including development of a science data processing pipeline control infrastructure for spaceflight missions and the architecting of a small satellite constellation pathfinder for hyperspectral continuity measurements. He has previously worked in the Earth Science Technology Office’s Advanced Information Systems Technology program and in an interagency technical liaison role with the U.S. Geological Survey. His research has been published in a variety of technical and policy journals and has been anthologized in two books. His most recent publication, U.S. Space-Based Earth Observations in 21st-Century Science Diplomacy, can be found in the AAAS Science & Diplomacy journal.

Prior to joining NASA, Dr. Brosnan served in the U.S. Coast Guard. During that time, he spent four years at sea, including two years in command, worked as a Congressional liaison officer, and had the pleasure of twice having the Navy fire torpedoes at him. After coming ashore, he transferred into the Coast Guard Reserve, where he is currently the Executive Officer of the Coast Guard Reserve Unit at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.


Ph.D, 2014, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 
M.M.A., 2010, Marine Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
B.S., 2003, Marine & Environmental Science (High Honors), U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, CT


2014 – Present: Science & Technology Manager, NASA Ames Research Center
2010 – 2013 Graduate Student & Postdoctoral Researcher, Cornell University
2010 – 2010 Science & Technology Policy Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
2009 – 2010 Graduate Student / Research Assistant, University of Washington
2003 – 2009 U.S. Coast Guard Officer

Professional Activities

Associate Editor: Oceanography
Reviewer: Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing (TGRS), Polar Geography, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Limnology and Oceanography, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Oceanography
Review Panel Membership: NASA Science Mission Directorate, NDSEG Fellowship Program

Awards & Honors

NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal
National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship
University of Washington Weddell O. Foss Fellowship
Navy League of the United States Sea Service Award


  • Park, T., H. Hashimoto, W. Wang, B. Thrasher, A.R. Michaelis, T.Lee. I.G. Brosnan, R.R. Nemani. (2022) What does global land climate look like at 2 degrees warming? Earth’s Future. doi: 10.1029/2022EF003330
  • Brosnan, I.G., K.R. Miner, C. Miller. (2022) U.S. Space-Based Earth Observations in 21st Century Science Diplomacy. Science & Diplomacy Special Issue: Emerging Technologies and Science Diplomacy. doi: 10.1126/scidip.ade6820
  • Pinto, J. et al. (2021). To Boldly Dive Where No One Has Gone Before: Experiments in Coordinated Robotic Ocean Exploration. In: Siciliano, B., Laschi, C., Khatib, O. (eds) Experimental Robotics. ISER 2020. Springer Proceedings in Advanced Robotics, vol 19. Springer, Cham. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-71151-1_42
  • Brosnan, I.G., D.W. Welch. (2020) A model to illustrate the potential pairing of animal biotelemetry with individualbased modeling. Animal Biotelemetry 8, 36. doi: 10.1186/s40317-020-00221-z
  • Brosnan, I.G., J. Stock (2018) Collaborating to Solve National Science & Technology Challenges in a Time of Scarcity:  Lessons from the NASA/USGS Partnership in Silicon Valley. InterAgency Journal 9(4): 5-13.
  • Brosnan, I.G., W.O. Williams, G.E. Sanders, L.P. McGarry, C.H. Greene (2018) A Description of a Noninvasive Surgical Training Pathway Using Translational Tools to Teach Intracoelomic Implantation of Acoustic Transmitters in Fish. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 30(3): 226-232. DOI: 10.1002/aah.10031
  • Brosnan, I.G., D.W. Welch, M.C. Jacobs Scott (2016) Effect of gas supersaturated water on survival of out-migrating yearling Chinook salmon in the lower Columbia River and plume. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health 28(4): 240-251. DOI: 10.1080/08997659.2016.1227398
  • Brosnan, I.G. (2015) An analysis of the relative success of applicants to the new STEM Presidential Management Fellowship and the NASA context. Space Policy 34: 47-49. DOI: 10.1016/j.spacepol.2015.09.001
  • Brosnan, I.G., D.W. Welch, E.L. Rechisky, A.D. Porter (2014) Juvenile yearling Chinook salmon survival in the Columbia River plume (USA): evaluating the influence of environmental factors with telemetry data. Marine Ecology Progress Series 496: 181-196. DOI: 10.3354/meps10550
  • Brosnan, I.G., T. M. Leschine, E. Miles (2011) Cooperation or Conflict in the Arctic? Ocean Development and International Law 42: 173- 210. DOI: 10.1080/00908320.2011.5433032
  • Brosnan, I.G. (2011) The Diminishing Age Gap between Polar Cruisers and Their Ships: A new reason to codify the IMO Guidelines for ships operating in Polar waters and make them mandatory? Marine Policy 35: 261-265. DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2010.09.07