Earth, Air, Fire, and Water:
Monitoring Natural Harzards in California

Abstract: Southern California experiences its fair share of exposure to risks from natural hazards, e.g. wildfires, debris flows, and earthquakes. Geosciences and remote sensing applications continue to increase our understanding and help to mitigate these risks. This panel event brings together a few local southern California players involved in both advancing deployment of satellite and airborne capabilities and information technology as well their use in everyday and emergency operations:
  • Dr. Andrea Donnellan, Principal Investigator of NASA’s GeoGateway project, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA
  • Mr. Mark Jackson, NOAA Meteorologist In Charge (MIC) for Los Angeles & Oxnard, CA
  • Mr. Tom Pagano, Systems Architect and Project Manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

A video of the panel discussion is available to GRSS members here

A video of the Question and Answer period is available to GRSS members here


Speaker Biographies:

Andrea Donnellan is a principal research scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is President of the American Geophysical Union’s Nonlinear Geophysics Focus Group, Principal Investigator of NASA’s GeoGateway project, and editor of the American Geophysical Union’s Earth and Space Science Journal. Donnellan studies earthquakes and crustal deformation by integrating geodetic imaging data and computational infrastructure with modeling and analysis tools. Her current research focus is on analysis and modeling of geodetic observations in California using UAVSAR, GPS, and Structure from Motion. In 2012 QuakeSim (now GeoGateway) won NASA’s Software of the Year Award. Donnellan has been Deputy Manager of the JPL's Science Division, InSAR Pre-Project Scientist for studying natural hazards, ice sheets, and ecosystems, and NASA's Applied Sciences Program Area Co-Lead for Natural Disasters. From 1998–2015 she was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Research in Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California and she was a Visiting Associate at Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory from 1995–1996. She has conducted field studies in California, in Antarctica, on the Altiplano of Bolivia, in Mongolia, and on Variegated Glacier in Alaska. She has been a geophysicist at JPL since 1993. Donnellan received a B.S. in geology from the Ohio State University in 1986, a master's and Ph.D. in geophysics from Caltech in 1988 and 1991 respectively, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in 2003. She held a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Donnellan has received the Presidential Early Career Award, the MUSES of the California Science Center Woman of the Year Award, Women in Aerospace Award for Outstanding Achievement, JPL’s Lew Allen award, several NASA Space Act Awards, the Antarctic Service Medal, and has been a finalist in the astronaut selection process three times. Donnellan has a glacier in Antarctica named after her for her work on that continent.

Mark Jackson is the Meteorologist in Charge with NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) in Oxnard, California, serving Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. Mark has a B.S. in Meteorology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and an M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma. Mark has been the meteorologist in charge in Oxnard since 2005, and prior to that worked in other NWS offices as a science and operations officer and as a regional scientist for a regional headquarters. Over the span of his 23 year career with the National Weather Service, Mark has served on numerous scientific and programmatic teams, including the team to create the current National Weather Service Strategic Plan to build a Weather-Ready Nation and as a contributing member of the Evolve NWS Program Management Office to build enhanced Impact-Based Decision Support Services programs.

Mr. Thomas S. Pagano is the Principal Investigator for CIRAS and the Project Manager for the AIRS/AMSU/HSB Suite of instruments on the EOS Aqua Spacecraft. He was the lead engineer responsible for the calibration of the AIRS instrument in orbit. Prior to joining JPL in 1997, he was the Chief Systems Engineer on the MODIS instrument development program at Raytheon SBRS since 1985. He has a BS in Physics from UC Santa Barbara, and an MS in Physics from Montana State University. He holds 2 US patents and is author of numerous papers on space remote sensing systems.


A video of the panel discussion is available to GRSS members here

A video of the Question and Answer period is available to GRSS members here