J62.1 Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Tropical Cyclone Observations from the Ground, High-Altitude Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and Space

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 10:00 AM
252A (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Amber E. Emory, NASA ESTO, Greenbelt, MD

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

For me, one of my giants was Dr. Joanne Simpson (1923-2010), the first woman ever to receive a Ph.D. in Meteorology. I later worked in the same laboratory she once led when I first came to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2009. My first experience working with NASA occurred in the summer of 2006 in Dakar, Senegal where I helped set up and operate a research radar. The data I collected eventually led to my dissertation work involving the very early life stages of Cape Verde hurricanes that transition off the West coast of Africa. Although NASA flew hurricane research science flights for many years, I started at a fascinating time when the agency was just beginning to put instruments on a large unmanned aerial vehicle called the Global Hawk. I began as a forecaster and Global Hawk navigator for mission flight safety related to hurricanes, worked my way up to becoming a Mission Scientist, and was Principal Investigator for the East Pacific Origins and Characteristics of Hurricanes (EPOCH) field campaign in 2017.

In 2018, I transitioned to a position at NASA Headquarters Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO). It is an incredibly rewarding experience to enable the future of science through technology development. During the last two years, I’ve been involved with a next generation bistatic radar receiver for a Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) follow on mission, a submillimeter wavelength and longwave infrared polarimeter for cirrus ice properties in developing tropical cyclones, and help lead the Airborne Instrument Technology Transfer program to assist teams in successfully demonstrating new science instruments. In this talk, I will share my experiences as a hybrid scientist and engineer and where they’ve led me in the field of tropical meteorology.

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