Biographies of Task Group Members
Sidney C.Wolff, Chair, is immediate past director of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories. Her science interests include stellar atmospheres, stellar evolution, galactic/open clusters, star formation, and astronomical instruments and techniques. Dr. Wolff is the first woman to head a major observatory in the United States and has earned international recognition for her research on stellar atmospheres and the evolution, formation, and composition of stars, with emphasis on A-type stars. She served as president of Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 1985 and 1986 and was elected president of the American Astronomical Society in 1992. She received the Meritorious Public Service Award from the National Science Foundation for her outstanding support of the Gemini Project and her success in revitalizing it. Dr. Wolff is a former member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Space Astronomy and Astrophysics, 1981–1984; Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, 1989–1992; Board on Physics and Astronomy, 1992–1995; and Task Group on Alternative Organizations of the SSB (Space Studies Board) Committee on the Future of Space Science, 1994–1995.
Thomas A.Herring, Vice-Chair, is professor of geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His areas of expertise and research interests involve the applications of high-precision geodetic measurement systems, primarily the Global Positioning System and Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Dr. Herring’s professional and advisory activities include the following: he is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union; member of the International Association of Geodesy’s Special Study Group on Atmospheric Refraction, 1986–1987; chairman of the NASA Advisory Panel on the Applications of Water-Vapor Radiometry, 1988–1990; member of the NASA Advisory Panel on the Role of VLBI in the 1990s, 1988–1989; cochairman of the NASA Measurement Technique and Technology Panel, 1989; and member of the NASA Solid Earth Working Group. He is a member of NASA’s Geoscience Laser Altimeter System science team. Dr. Herring’s National Research Council service includes membership on the Committee on Geodesy, 1990–1994 (chair 1994–96); U.S. Geodynamics Committee, 1995–1996; Committee on Optimizing the Differential Global Positioning System Infrastructure for Scientific Applications, 1995–1996; and Committee on Gravity Measurements from Space, 1996–1997.
Joel Bregman is a professor in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Michigan. His research interests are in theoretical and observational studies of interstellar and intergalactic gas, and multiwavelength space astrophysics (X-ray, ultraviolet, infrared). He is an investigator on the Advanced Satellite for Cosmology and Astrophysics, Roentgen Satellite, Infrared Space Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer, Chandra, and
Michael J.Folk is a technical program manager at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), University of Illinois. His professional interests are primarily in the area of scientific data management. He has led the HDF (Hierarchical Data Format) Project at NCSA since 1988. Through his work with HDF, Dr. Folk is involved with data management issues in NASA and the earth science community, particularly the Earth Observing System Data and Information System. He has also led the effort to provide a standard format to address data management needs of the U.S. Department of Energy’s ASCI project, which involves data input/output, storage, and sharing among terascale computing platforms. Before coming to NCSA, Dr. Folk taught computer science at the university level for 18 years. Among Dr. Folk’s publications is the book File Structures: A Conceptual Toolkit.
Richard G.Kron is a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. He is also a scientist at the Experimental Astrophysics Group, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). His research interests include studies of galaxies with the Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes. One of Dr. Kron’s responsibilities within the Experimental Astrophysics Group is monitoring the efficiency of data acquisition for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The Fermilab group is responsible for processing the imaging and spectroscopic data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. He has served in the position of scientific spokesperson for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey since July 2001. Dr. Kron’s prior National Research Council service includes membership on the Steering Committee for the Task Group on Space Astronomy and Astrophysics, Panel on Cosmology, and the Space Studies Board.
James F.W.Purdom is a senior research scientist at the Cooperative Institute; for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) at Colorado State University. Before joining CIRA in 2001, he spent four years as director of the Office of Research and Applications in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service. Dr. Purdom’s research focuses on remote sensing of the earth and its environment from space, as well as the development and evolution of atmospheric convection, with an emphasis on the study of mesoscale processes using satellite data. He received the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal in 1994, the National Weather Association Special Award in 1996, and the American Meteorological Society Special Award in 1997. He currently chairs the World Meteorological Organization’s Commission on Basic Systems Open Program Area Group on Global Observing Systems.
Donna L.Shirley is assistant dean of engineering for advanced program development at the University of Oklahoma, where she is responsible for coordinating engineering education activities. She is also president of Managing Creativity, a speaking and consulting firm, and is a well-known speaker, consultant, and trainer on the management of creative teams. She is the
author of Managing Martians, published in June 1998, and Managing Creativity, available at her Web site. Ms. Shirley has an M.S. in aerospace engineering, plus more than 38 years experience in engineering of aerospace and civil systems, including 30 years in management. She retired in August 1998 as manager of the Mars Exploration Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Prior to this position, Ms. Shirley managed the team that built Sojourner, the Microrover, which was landed by the highly successful Mars Pathfinder project on the surface of Mars on July 4, 1997. Ms. Shirley has numerous awards, including three honorary doctorates of humane letters.
Walter H.F.Smith has been a geophysicist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1992. His scientific research areas include the interpretation of topography and gravity fields; the geophysics of the ocean basins; the use of satellite altimetry for mapping the ocean floors, monitoring climate, and forecasting hurricane intensification; and the use of satellite gravity data for studying mass flux in global climate change. Dr. Smith serves or has served on numerous committees, including the International Council for Science’s Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research Working Group 107 on Improved Global Bathymetry and the General Bathymetric Charts of the Oceans. He is recognized for his work in developing a method for reconnaissance mapping of the ocean floors using satellite altimetry. Dr. Smith served on the National Research Council’s Committee on Earth Gravity from Space, 1996–1997.
Nick Van Driel manages the Land Cover Characterization Program at the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS’s) EROS Data Center. He began his career with the USGS in Reston, Virginia, as a research geologist specializing in computer applications. Dr. Van Driel’s subsequent assignments at USGS headquarters include that of information systems coordinator for the Geologic Division, deputy chief of the Office of Scientific Publications, and director of the Geographic Information Systems Laboratory in Reston. In 1994, he transferred to the EROS Data Center to manage its research program. He helped create the Land Cover Characterization Program in 1996, which has developed a Global Land Cover Database and the recently completed National Land Cover Dataset. His publications include articles on the application of satellite data to land cover mapping.
Donald J.Williams is retired as chief scientist in the Research and Technology Development Center at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). He first joined APL’s Space Department in 1961 and participated in the laboratory’s early space activities. In 1965, he joined NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he headed the Particle Physics Branch. In 1970, he was appointed director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Space Environment Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. In 1982, he rejoined APL’s Space Department. During 1982–1989, he was supervisor of the Space Sciences Branch and from 1990 to October 1996 was director of the Milton S.Eisenhower Research Center. He has been the principal investigator of a variety of NASA, NOAA, Department of Defense, and European satellite programs. His research activities are in the field of space plasma physics, with an emphasis on planetary atmospheres. Dr. Williams has served on several national and international planning and advisory committees on space plasma physics. He is a past chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Research and a member of the Committee on Solar and Space Physics. Dr. Williams is past president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy. He is principal investigator for the energetic
particles detector on NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, and the energetic particle detector and ion composition experiment on the Japanese/NASA Geotail satellite.
Roger V.Yelle is associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University. Dr. Yelle studies atmospheres and icy surfaces in this solar system and the atmospheres of extrasolar planets. He analyzes telescopic and spacecraft data and constructs theories and models to determine the composition and structure of atmospheres and their interaction with surfaces. His current projects include the following: the structure of extrasolar, Jupiterlike planets; thermal modeling of the energetics of the Jovian stratosphere and upper atmosphere in order to determine the importance of radiative and dynamical processes, and the relationship between composition and thermal structure; and analysis of the ultraviolet spectra of Jupiter in order to constrain the abundance of aerosols and hydrocarbons and to understand the role of Raman scattering. Dr. Yelle also works on NASA planetary missions, and he is a team member on the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer experiment on the Cassini mission to the Saturn system. He is also a member of the Miniature Integrated Camera Spectrometer team on NASA’s Deep Space 1 mission to an asteroid and a comet. Dr. Yelle is a member of the American Geophysical Union, American Astronomical Society, and European Geophysical Society. He is a former member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration.
James R.Zimbelman is a geologist for the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Smithsonian Institution. His main area of expertise is planetary geology, with emphasis on the analysis of high-resolution remote sensing and imaging data of Mars, geologic mapping of Mars and Venus, computer simulations of lava flows, and field studies of volcanic and aeolian features. He has been curator for “Exploring the Planets” (NASM Gallery 207) since March 1998. Prior to his position at the Smithsonian, Dr. Zimbelman was staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. His many honors and activities include the following: chairman, Planetary Geology and Geophysics Review Panel, NASA, 1997–1999; NASA Venus Data Analysis Program Review Panel, 1992; and chairman, Regional Planetary Image Facility Directors and Data Managers Group, NASA, 1994–1997. Dr. Zimbelman is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, and member of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America.