What is your job?
Lead, Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases Division, Global Monitoring Laboratory, NOAA. I oversee a team tracking greenhouse gases using sensors on planes, cell towers, mountains, islands, and ships.
How are you helping cool the planet?
We use our data along with satellite measurements to monitor and understand greenhouse gas emissions and removal processes to provide a solid scientific basis for climate change-related decision-making and mitigation efforts. You could think of us as greenhouse gas accountants and detectives. Our carefully calibrated observations are foundational, and our people are so dedicated, so meticulous, so inventive.
What most surprised you about your job?
The first time I walked into a NASA aircraft hangar as a graduate student felt like being in a movie — so out of the realm of anything I ever expected. I felt so lucky. I loved the mechanical aspects of working with instrumentation, the wrenches, and the getting up at three in the morning to install the instruments on the aircraft.
What can we do to get more young people into public service?
Promote the perks. I’ve had so many unique opportunities, traveling all over the world to conduct research, exposure to scientists across many disciplines, and engagement with international colleagues. I am always learning about new measurement and data analysis methods. I have really been supported by NOAA and by NASA. They promote young scientists and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Plus, we can take on larger scale projects than a typical academic researcher.