Paul Racette

Biographical Sketch

As an adventurous adolescent, Paul grew up chasing severe thunderstorms across the plains of Kansas. And so he was quite excited after joining the Goddard Space Flight Center in July 1990 to learn that his first assignment was to prepare and install a suite of sensors on a DC-8 aircraft for an experiment to study typhoons. That fall while stationed at Kadena Airbase in Okinawa, Japan, he flew for the first time through the eye of a category 5 typhoon. That experience was the beginning of an exciting and fruitful career developing and deploying microwave remote sensors for studying Earth's environment. Since then, Paul has been the principal engineer responsible for the overall instrument concept, development and deployment for five highly-innovative remote sensing instruments. Each of these instruments has produced unique, scientifically rich data. Paul has participated in more than fifteen major field experiments around the world pioneering techniques to observe the Earth. As a member of the senior technical staff at Goddard, he has initiated technology developments, research projects, and international collaborations that have advanced the state of the art in microwave remote sensing and instrument calibration. For these efforts and accomplishments Paul received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Service and was the first recipient of Goddard's Engineering Achievement Award established to publicly recognize Goddard's highest achieving engineers. In 2005 he completed the requirements for his Doctor of Science in electrical engineering from The George Washington University. Recognizing the critical needs in education and a desire to seek new adventures, Paul applied and was accepted into the NASA Administrator's Fellowship Program. As a NAFP fellow he returned to his home state to serve as a guest faculty at the Haskell Indian Nations University during the 2005 - 2006 academic year. Paul recently competed the second year of his fellowship working at NASA Headquarters as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Office of Education.

Paul is highly commited to serving the public through professional activities. Paul has served the IEEE in many capacities including secretary of the University of Kansas IEEE student chapter, the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Socieity's New Technology Directions Committee Representative, Chair of the Instrumentation and Future Technologies Committee, and Professional Activities Committee for Engineers Representative. He now serves as Editor-In-Chief for Earthzine.

Benefits of GEOSS: A Panel Discussion

Image of Dr. Jose AchacheThere are over six billion people on this planet, 193 countries and more than five thousand languages. No matter the nationality or language spoken or the location, everyone is inextricably linked and hence affected by global environmental change.

Paul Racette, posted on November 17th, 2008
Earth Observation, Featured Article, GEOSS/ICEO News, Technology

Call for nominations to the NOAA – David Johnson Award for Outstanding Innovative Use of Earth Observation Satellite Data

The NOAA - David Johnson Award is presented by the National Space Club in honor of the first administrator of what was to become the NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).

Paul Racette, posted on November 4th, 2008
Articles, Earth Observation

Hammering Out Our Differences

tree_and_earth_cut.jpg "We have not met, yet I feel I know you well enough to call you friend." So begins the letter to a Southern Baptist pastor that E.O. Wilson weaves into a riveting account of the peril posed by the extinction of life in The Creation: An Appeal To Save Planet Earth.

Paul Racette, posted on March 3rd, 2008
In This Issue, Reviews

Earth Observation, Global Perspective

Flowers in a meadow The next state of equilibrium during which humans will live in balance with the Earth's ecosystems depends on the choices we make today. In turn, those choices are influenced by the way we view Earth. Daily, we each make decisions that impact our environment; collectively our actions affect the health and well being of Earth. Individually and collectively, we have the power to influence our environment and therein resides our hope for future generations.

Paul Racette, posted on February 3rd, 2008
Earth Observation, OpEd

TRMM Turns Ten

TRMM Storm ImageryFor the past 10 years TRMM has provided spectacular imagery of the interior structure of storm systems. The unprecedented data have improved our understanding of weather and climate. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission launched November 27, 1997.

Posted on November 27th, 2007
Earth Observation, Weather

Facing a Threat to Farming and Food Supply

Several recent analyses have concluded that the higher temperatures expected in coming years -- along with salt seepage into groundwater as sea levels rise and anticipated increases in flooding and droughts -- will disproportionately affect agriculture in the planet's lower latitudes, where most of the world's poor live.

Posted on November 19th, 2007
Agriculture, Climate

Emissions Growth Must End in 7 Years, U.N. Warns

The world will have to end its growth of carbon emissions within seven years and become mostly free of carbon-emitting technologies in about four decades to avoid killing as many as a quarter of the planet's species from global warming, according to top United Nations' scientists.

Posted on November 18th, 2007
Biodiversity, Climate, Energy

A Looking Back at 50 Years of Earth Observations

Today, the ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on these satellite-based observations. Satellites have revolutionized how humans view and understand the home planet, helped address fundamental scientific questions, and enabled a plethora of applications with important societal benefits. Continued Earth observations from space will be required to address scientific and societal challenges of the future.

Posted on November 17th, 2007
Earth Observation

IPY Lights Fire of Discovery

If you haven't heard of the International Polar Year, read this article. IPY is an international effort to study the polar regions and improve our understanding of their role in and response to climate change.

Posted on November 17th, 2007
Climate

World’s Power Plant Emissions Detailed

Center for Global Development publishes report with database that shows the United States is the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter and that it will quickly be outpaced by rapidly-industrializing nations.

Posted on November 16th, 2007
Energy