Who's Who at NASA

Dr. Waleed Abdalati, NASA Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Waleed Abdalati, on January 3rd of this year, became NASA’s chief scientist. He will serve as the principal adviser to the NASA administrator on agency science programs, strategic planning, and the evaluation of related investments.

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Chad R. Frost, Intelligent Systems Division’s Area Lead for Autonomous Systems and Robotics, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Chad R. Frost supervises the Autonomous Systems and Robotics (ASR) technical area in Ames Research Center's Intelligent Systems Division. ASR staff develops advanced automation and control technologies to enable safer and more efficient aircraft, make robots smarter and more capable, increase scientific productivity, and allow spacecraft to explore the universe with greater independence.

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Dr. Dale P. Cruikshank, Astronomer and Planetary Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Dale P. Cruikshank is an astronomer and planetary scientist in the Astrophysics Branch at Ames Research Center. His research specialties are spectroscopy and radiometry of planets, asteroids, satellites, and other bodies in the solar system. In his most recent studies with the Cassini spacecraft, he and his colleagues found hydrocarbons on several of Saturn’s satellites.

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Dr. Jacqueline Quinn, Environmental Engineer, NASA’s Surface Systems Office, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Dr. Jacqueline Quinn is an environmental engineer with NASA’s Surface Systems Office at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In 2005, a groundwater remediation technology she helped develop, called Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron (EZVI), won NASA’s Government Invention of the Year and Commercial Invention of the Year awards. In April 2007, she was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame for her part in helping to invent EZVI. Dr. Quinn currently heads up the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) project, which is a prospecting instrument designed to gather and analyze regolith for volatiles such as argon, helium, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water, etc.

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Dr. Jim Green, Director, Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC

Dr. Jim Green began his NASA career in 1980 at Marshall Space Flight Center’s Magnetospheric Physics Branch where he developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network (SPAN), NASA’s precursor to the Internet. From 1985 to 1992 he served as Head of the National Space Science Data Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center, followed by a 13-year stint as Chief of the Space Science Data Operations Office. In 2005 he was named Chief of the Science Proposal Support Office, where he served until August 2006 when he was appointed Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

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Steven Schmidt, Director, Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DAOF), Palmdale, CA

Steven Schmidt joined NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in 1994 as a project engineer and manager on programs such as the X-33, X-38, X-43A, F-15 Advanced Control Technology for Integrated Vehicles, and the SR-71. Between January 2002 and August 2004 Schmidt served as special assistant to the NASA administrator in Washington, DC, and from August 2004 to May 2008 he served as deputy director of the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA. Schmidt is currently the director of NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility (DAOF) in Palmdale, CA.

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Dr. Robert Youngquist, Lead Scientist, Applied Physics Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center, FL

After a brief career teaching at University College London in the U.K., Dr. Robert Youngquist returned to the U.S. and went to work as a contractor at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in 1988. He established KSC’s Optical Instrumentation Laboratory, which developed ground support equipment for the space shuttle program. In 1999 he accepted a full-time position with NASA and established KSC’s Applied Physics Laboratory, which he still leads today. In 2009 Dr. Youngquist received KSC’s inaugural Engineer/Scientist of the Year Award for his scientific innovations, leadership, and mentoring of students who are pursuing advanced degrees.

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