NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati to Give Lecture at the University of Idaho

Thursday, September 20 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – Waleed Abdalati, NASA chief scientist, will give a lecture at the University of Idaho on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 3:30 p.m. in the College of Law Courtroom. Abdalati is the principal adviser to Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, on agency science programs and strategic planning. His visit is sponsored by the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources.

Abdalati presentation entitled, "Looking Homeward toward Earth: The Power of Perspective" will focus on how the iconic 1968 “Earthrise” image of planet Earth emerging from beyond the lunar horizon, changed society’s view of their planetary home forever.

“Beautiful and vulnerable, and suspended in dark stillness, this image inspired an appreciation that we are one human race, whose fate hinges delicately on our collective actions,” Abdalati wrote.

Lee Vierling, College of Natural Resources associate professor, said Abdalati was invited to speak due to his intimate knowledge of the relationships between the Earth’s climate and water cycle, and of how NASA data can lead to an understanding of the complex interconnections that influence the quality of life on Earth.

“These connections are a natural fit for the University of Idaho’s land grant mission of using advanced tools to improve the sustainability of the Earth’s natural resources,” said Vierling. “They complement the interests of the many U-Idaho faculty and students who work on projects central to NASA’s mission.“ 

Abdalati, an ice and snow expert, will discuss how space-based observations of the Earth continue to provide insights and information across the full spectrum of human activities. Among other things, space-based observations are documenting the disappearing Arctic ice cover, providing key insights to hurricane evolution and tracking the amount of movement and cycles of Earth’s biomass. Abdalati said these kinds of observations allow people to understand how and why the world is changing, and what these changes mean for life on Earth.

Waleed Abdalati has been NASA chief scientist since January 2011. He serves as principal adviser to Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, on agency science programs, strategic planning and the evaluation of related investments. His research has focused on the use of satellites and aircraft to understand how and why Earth's ice cover is changing, and what those changes mean for life on the planet. He is currently on leave from the University of Colorado, where he has served as the director of the Earth Science and Observation Center in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences since 2008.

For more information about Waleed Abdalati, go to  

For more information on Waleed Abdalati’s visit, please contact Jill Maxwell at (208) 885-2737 or

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