2007 SESDA II News Archive

SESDA II Staff Recognized for Best Published Article

Congratulations to William Thompson (SESDA II) and Eric De Jong (JPL). Their joint paper on NASA's STEREO MIssion won the 2007 Lou Smaus Award for Best Stereo World article on Modern Stereoscopy from the National Stereoscopic Association.
Link to the National Stereoscopic Association Awards Honor Roll.

SESDA II Staff Participate in National AGU Meeting in San Francisco

Many SESDA II staff at the Goddard Earth Sciences-Data and Information Services Center (GES-DISC) participated in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall gathering held this past December 2007 in San Francisco. Oral presentations, exhibition posters, or demonstrations were presented by the GES-DISC staff covering many aspects of Earth science data at GSFC including data access, visualization, and analysis tools for the many data products produced and archived at GSFC. Promoting the services and tools provided at GSFC is an important outreach component of the SESDA II contract, and our staff contributed directly to many aspects of this important outreach activity. In addition, staff from the Solar Astronomy group presented papers on Heliospheric data analysis techniques.
Link to the Publications List.

SESDA II Staff Member Awarded Exceptional Achievement Individual Award

Maurice Henderson of SESDA II is one of the 2007 Goddard award honorees for individual exceptional achievement for his efforts in conceiving and implementing the Science on a Sphere (SOS) exhibit at Goddard. He was instrumental in getting SOS to Goddard by bringing its potential to the attention of Goddard management and by developing a plan for a new Visitor Center Auditorium to house it. Maurice's award cites him for being an advocate, for many museums with SOS systems, to incorporate Goddard science content into their presentations. Millions of visitors to these museums each year see NASA, NOAA and other science data provided by SOS shows.

Goddard Exceptional Achievement Team Award for Our Changing Planet Production Team

our changing planet

This fall, the Goddard Exceptional Achievement Team Award will be given to the production team in charge of design and visualization for a new book, "Our Changing Planet: The View from Space".

 The team includes SESDA II staff Sally Bensusen (production manager/designer/illustrator), Debbi McLean (designer/illustrator), Winnie Humberson (designer/illustrator), and visualizers Marit Jentoft-Nilsen and Mark Malanoski.

The book is one of the most comprehensive and truly understandable collections of eye-popping NASA satellite imagery, as well as the current science behind it, and what it all means in terms of global climate change. It is published by Cambridge University Press and is scheduled to hit bookstores and Amazon at the end of November.

SESDA II Staff win Family Science Night Proposal

SESDA-II Staff teamed with the University of Maryland and SP Systems to win a three year proposal to complete the pilot testing of the Family Science Night program and begin dissemination implementation on a national scale. Research shows that parental involvement increases student achievement outcomes, and family-oriented programs have a direct impact on student performance. The Family Science Night program is a monthly two-hour program designed for middle school students and their families. The program provides a family-friendly venue to explore the importance of science and technology in our daily lives by engaging in learning activities that change their perception and understanding of science – making it more practical and approachable for participants of ages. Family Science Night strives to change the way that students and their families participate in science, within the program and beyond.

Family Science Night is created and operated in partnership between the Heliophysics Science Division and the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

SESDA II Staff Team With GSFC to Win Ozone Monitoring Proposal

mod dataset

SESDA-II staff teamed with NASA/GSFC to win a five year proposal to produce an ozone Earth Science Data Record – a consistent, calibrated ozone time series that can used for monitoring long term trends and detailed comparisons with models. They will produce both total column ozone and ozone vertical profile data sets will be using data from a wide variety of satellite-based sensors: TOMS/OMI, SBUV, GOME, GOME-2, SBUV(/2), UARS, Aura MLS and the Sciamachy instruments. The proposal answers a call from NASA HQ to integrate measurements from multiple missions into single inter-calibrated long term data sets. (See figure) Such an integrated data set is important in a number of ways: it provides a measure of accuracy and consistency-checking that is not available from any single sensor, and it fills in coverage gaps that would otherwise hinder our ability to do detailed monitoring of ozone trends as an indicator of global climate change. Congratulations to the PI and co-investigators for this important work!


SESDA II Earth Sciences NEWS Team helps bring NASA scientists available to the media.

SESDA's Earth Sciences NEWS Team has created a new page on NASA's Press and Media site: the NASA Earth Science Expert Directory. This new, clean interface is a striking update to how the agency makes its scientists available to the media.
NASA Earth Sciences Expert Directory

SESDA II EPO makes the Washington Post

SESDA's Emily Drobnes makes a prominent appearance in a Washington Post article about NASA's educational outreach.

Science Served Family Style
By Kathleen Seiler Neary
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, October 19, 2007; Page WE49

"Do we have intelligent life?" asks Diana Newman of Upper Marlboro.

"It's right here," says Kyle, her 11-year-old son, pointing to a small green stick figure drawn on poster board. The mini alien is surrounded by pompoms, yarn and balloons, which represent planets, comets and asteroids.
For the complete article, click here.

SESDA-II Team Helps Derive Chlorophyll and Currents in the Red Sea

red sea chloro

SESDA II Data Information and Services Center (DISC) staff and civil servants garnered an Earth Observatory "Image of the Day" citation for a paper that will appear in a special issue of the Journal of Marine Systems. The image, showing chlorophyll concentration in the Red Sea, yielded some surprising insights into an area that is difficult to study by standard sea-based oceanographic methods. It was generated using the DISC's Giovanni tool, a pioneering technology to make NASA Earth remote-sensing data more widely available and easier to explore and use for research.
Link to full article at Earth Observatory Web site.

SESDA-II Team Helps Win Virtual Observatories Proposal

SESDA-II staff teamed with NASA/GSFC, Catholic University, and the University of Zurich to win a three year proposal to extend the capabilities of the Virtual Solar Observatory. The proposal received an excellent rating for the development of an impressive set of desktop software tools to facilitate the analysis of Heliophysics data.

SOHO Observes its Brightest Comet Ever

Soho Comet

SESDA-II staff are actively involved in compiling statistics for sun-grazing comets observed by SOHO. Sun-grazers belong to the Kreutz family of comets, which are related to a much larger comet that broke up approximately 2,000 years ago near perihelion (the closest approach to the Sun). On June 8, 2007, SOHO had a ring-side seat to observe one of the brightest sun-grazers ever seen. Staff superimposed images from two instruments to produce this remarkable image showing the elongated tail of the comet as it orbited past the Sun. To date, SOHO has observed over 1,300 comets.
Link to the SOHO Web site.

ADNET Systems Achieves CMMI Maturity Level 2

cmmi logo

On May 4, 2007, ADNET Systems, Inc. successfully achieved a CMMI Maturity Level 2 rating after undergoing a rigorous appraisal process. Through ADNET's work on the SESDA II contract for GSFC, ADNET was able to successfully demonstrate that it follows all of the Specific and Generic Practices for the process areas Project Planning, Project Monitoring and Control, Requirements Management, Process and Product Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, Measurement and Analysis, and Supplier Agreement Management. Congratulations to the Appraisal Team and everyone who contributed to this achievement.

First 3-D Images of the Sun

3D Sun Image

Congratulations to the SESDA-II team supporting the STEREO mission on the release of the first three-dimensional images of the Sun at a NASA press conference on April 23rd. The twin STEREO spacecraft were launched on October 25, 2006, and are currently orbiting the sun – one slightly ahead of Earth and one slightly behind, separating from each other by approximately 45 degrees per year. The separation of the spacecraft bestows a unique depth perception to better study solar physics and improve solar weather forecasting. The image below combines different wavelengths observed by the STEREO Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope into a single image that compares features formed at different temperatures.
Link to the press release.

SESDA II Peer Awards

The SESDA II Peer Awards have been handed out in a series of short ceremonies. Seventeen prizes were awarded, each including a plaque and a substantial cash bonus. The selected individuals distinguished themselves not only in the way they contribute to SESDA but in the way they improve the daily work lives of all of us. Thank them when you see them! The awardees represent outstanding SESDA II staff members selected by the employees, with no management involvement, as their most exemplary coworkers in these categories:

  • Leadership
  • Team Players
  • Innovators
  • Unsung Heroes
  • Health and Safety Awareness
  • "Wildcards"

Queen Elizabeth Views a SESDA II Multimedia Presentation

Presentation to the Queen

During the Queen's recent visit to GSFC, she and the Duke stopped by the Visitor Center to view a multimedia presentation given by Astronaut Piers J. Sellers using the Science on a Sphere and Blue Marble displays. SESDA II staff finished making the final changes to the Piers portion of the presentation with one hour to spare before show time. When Piers saw the completed presentation, his jaw dropped as he compared it to his view of the Earth from space.

 The purpose was to tell about the role that NASA plays in space exploration and Earth science. The presentation included a stunning Mars segment and highlighted the Apollo sites, with an Apollo VIII Earth rise overlay on the moon. There was an overlay of Ireland and the UK that Piers took from the ISS. Finally the Jamestown to London Landsat sequence was projected around the sphere for the audience to see as the framed print was presented to HMQ.

The Duke was keenly interested in the presentation, and had many questions throughout. The Shuttle Crew came into the room and it was a real sight with the astronauts in blue flight suits staring at the Sphere. Then each of them struck an Atlas pose for a photo.