Waleed Abdalati

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Waleed Abdalati
Waleed Abdalati.JPG
Abdalati speaking prior to launch of Juno
Alma materBS Syracuse University, 1986,
MS University of Colorado, 1991
Ph.D. University of Colorado, 1996
Known forNASA Chief Scientist, Director of CIRES
Scientific career
InstitutionsCIRES, NASA

Waleed Abdalati held the position of NASA Chief Scientist from 3 January 2011 through December 2012.[1] Abdalati was named to this position on 13 December 2010 by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.[2] Abdalati previously served NASA as Head of Cryospheric Sciences at Goddard Space Flight Center between January 2004 and June 2008.[3]

Abdalati is the current director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.[4]

Academic background[edit]

Abdalati is seconded to NASA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he is Director of the Earth Science and Observation Center at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences[5] and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography.[6] Abdalati earned a Bachelor of Science (cum laude) from Syracuse University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in 1986,[3] and later completed his graduate studies at the University of Colorado, where he received a M.Sc. in 1991 from the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and a Ph.D. in 1996 from the Department of Geography.[3][7] In his doctoral research, Abdalati developed an algorithm to use the ratio of two microwave bands of the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) sensor aboard Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) vehicles to remotely detect changes in the spatial extent of the Greenland ice sheet experiencing melt each year.[8]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • NASA GSFC Center Director’s Team Recognition Award, 2007
  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronaustics Space Systems Award, 2006
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exceptional Service Medal, 2004
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, ICESat Science Team, 2004
  • NASA Office of Earth Science Award, 2003
  • NASA Group Achievement Award, Honor Award Team 2003
  • NASA Office of Earth Science Terra Peer Award, 2002
  • NASA Office of Earth Science Award, 2002
  • NASA Office of Earth Science Award, 2001
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 1999
  • Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society (since 1985)


  1. ^ a b NASA - Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist
  2. ^ NASA - NASA Names Waleed Abdalati As Agency's New Chief Scientist
  3. ^ a b c NASA - Meet Dr. Waleed Abdalati: Head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  4. ^ "Waleed Abdalati". cires.colorado.edu. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. Retrieved August 19, 2016. cires.colorado.edu/about/organization/director/
  5. ^ ESOC - People Directory
  6. ^ CU Boulder Geography - Waleed Abdalati Homepage
  7. ^ ScienceNewsline - Waleed Abdalati Named Chief Scientist at NASA
  8. ^ Geophysical Research Letters - Passive microwave‐derived snow melt regions on the Greenland Ice Sheet