Miriam Rodón Naveira

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Dr. Miriam Rodón Naveira
Miriam Rodon.JPG
The first Hispanic woman to serve as Deputy Director of the Environmental Sciences Division of the National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL).
Born 2 April 1963[1]
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality Puerto Rican
Occupation electronics engineer and scientist
Spouse(s) Christopher Mace
Children Sarah

Miriam Rodón Naveira[a] (born April 2, 1963) is an environmental scientist from San Juan, Puerto Rico, working at the federal government of the United States for which she was awarded a Silver Medal for Superior Service and a Suzanne Olive EEO and Diversity Award both by the EPA.[2] She was also the first Hispanic woman to serve as branch chief of the EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) and later the first Hispanic woman to become deputy director of NERL's Environmental Sciences Division. Working at NASA since 2000, she now oversees research to enhance collaboration within DFRC, as well as with external entities, in support of the integrated use of remote sensing instruments in aerial platforms.[3]

Early years[edit]

Rodón Naveira was born on 2 April 1963[1] in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she was raised and received both her primary and secondary education. Her mother was Miriam Naveira Merly, the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, and her father was a prominent businessman.[1] After graduating from high school, she continued her academic education at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. where she earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She also holds a doctoral degree in Biology-Earth Science Micro-Ecology from Georgetown University.[3]

In 1990, Rodón-Naveira worked with the United States Environmental Protection Agency as Biologist, Project Officer, and Environmental Research Scientist. In 1995, she became the first woman minority Branch Chief within the National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL) and in 1998, the first Hispanic woman to hold the Deputy Directorship for the Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) within the NERL.[4]

Career at NASA[edit]

In December 2000, Rodón-Naveira became an Earth Science Remote Sensing Scientist with NASA at Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. Her responsibilities included coordinating and conducting research to enhance collaboration between Directorates within DFRC, NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, universities, Indian tribes and other governments and international entities; all in support of the integrated use of remote sensing instruments.

Rodón-Naveira was involved with the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developmental activities within NASA DFRC Aerospace Projects Directorate. As Science Lead, she was responsible for developing collaborative partnership with the scientific community for the potential use of UAVs as unique science platforms in long-duration, long-range, and high-hazard missions.

Rodón-Naveira is currently "the Senior Safety Technical Manager within the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance...at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)", where she is responsible for "leading, coordinating and managing DFRC's safety and occupational training and competency projects to ensure a safe mission success."[3] Her work involves interfacing with external partners at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, and the State of California, as well as universities, Indian tribes and other national and international entities.[3] Respected in her field, she is frequently invited as a speaker on scientific topics.[5][6]

Personal life[edit]

Rodón Naveira, is married to Christopher Mace and they have a daughter, Sarah, and a son as well as an adoptive goddaughter, Julie Fuller. [7] She is also the daughter of Puerto Rico's first female Chief Justice and first Instance Judge from Puerto Rico, Miriam Naveira and Hon. Victor Rodon-Elizalde.

She participates in "institutional career days" providing information to students on careers related to science, engineering and technology, and in "NASA educational workshops" giving talks and hands-on demonstration projects, like the Earth-to-space linkup, to schools in the area of aeronautics and earth science. The Earth-to-space linkup is part of a weeklong training workshop for teachers from schools chosen for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Explorer School program. The workshop's goal is to help math and science teachers inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers of space. Rodon Naveira has been quoted as saying, "What better way than to have our teachers who are currently going through the workshop with us ... be able to ask questions of our astronauts in the International Space Station?" [8]

Accolades and recognitions[edit]

Some of the recognitions she has received include:[3]

  • US EPA Silver Medal Award (2001) - recognition for her scientific and management accomplishments
  • US EPA's Suzanne Olive EEO and Diversity Award (2000) - recognition for her leadership in diversity management
  • Outstanding Leadership in Management Award (1999) - Southern Nevada Federal Executive Association
  • Congressional Certificate of Recognition (1999) - outstanding contributions to management in public service, Congressman James Gibbons
  • Senatorial Recognition (1999) - distinguished public service, U S Senator Richard H. Bryan
  • Rodón Naveira has been featured on the PBS documentary on Mojave Desert's Valley Fever (coccidioidomycosis) infection.[9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Rodón and the second or maternal family name is Naveira.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Latinos in Science, Math, and Professions. David E. Newton. New York: Infobase Publishing. 2007. Page 198. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  2. ^ NASA Dryden funding supports Valley Fever research. Beth Hagenauer. Antelope Valley Times. 18 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Miriam Rodon-Naveira, Ph.D.: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center". Latina Women of NASA. April 2009. 
  4. ^ Hispanics@NASA LaRC: Employees' Achievements. Debbie Martinez and Janet E. Sellars. NASA. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ Latinos in Science, Math, and Professions. David E. Newton. Page 198.
  6. ^ Reaching for the Stars - Latinas at NASA. Christine Bolaños. Latina Style Magazine. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  7. ^ Naveira Becomes First Female Chief Justice Of The Supreme Court. Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin (WOW News). Puerto Rico Herald. 30 December 2003. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  8. ^ Teachers Linked To Space Nasa Sets Up Talk With In-Orbit Astronauts. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  9. ^ NASA Dryden Funding Supports Valley Fever Research. NASA. 11 June 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.