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nasa · 5 months ago
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NASA Spotlight: Earth Climate Scientist Dr. Yolanda Shea
Dr. Yolanda Shea is a climate scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center. She’s the project scientist for the CLARREO Pathfinder (CPF) mission, which is an instrument that will launch to the International Space Station to measure sunlight reflected from Earth. It will help us understand how much heat is being trapped by our planet’s atmosphere. Her mission is designed to help us get a clearer picture than we currently have of the Earth’s system and how it is changing
Yolanda took time from studying our home planet to answer questions about her life and career! Get to know this Earth scientist:
What inspired you to study climate science?
Starting in early middle school I became interested in the explanations behind the weather maps and satellite images shown on TV. I liked how the meteorologists talked about the temperature, moisture, and winds at different heights in the atmosphere, and then put that together to form the story of our weather forecasts. This made me want to learn more about Earth science, so I went to college to explore this interest more.
The summer after my junior year of college, I had an internship during which my first assignment was to work with a program that estimated ocean currents from satellite measurements. I was fascinated in the fact that scientists had discovered a way to map ocean currents from space!
Although I had learned about Earth remote sensing in my classes, this was my first taste of working with, and understanding the details of, how we could learn more about different aspects of the physical world from satellite measurements.
This led to my learning about other ways we can learn about Earth from space, and that includes rigorous climate monitoring, which is the area I work in now.
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What does a day in your life look like?
Before I start my workday, I like to take a few minutes to eat breakfast, knit (I’m loving sock knitting right now!), and listen to a podcast or audio book. Each workday really looks different for me, but regardless, most days are a combination of quieter moments that I can use for individual work and more interactive times when I’m interfacing with colleagues and talking about project or science issues. Both types of work are fun in different ways, but I’m glad I have a mixture because all researchers need that combination of deep thinking to wrap our minds around complex problems and also time to tackle those problems with others and work on solving them together.
When do you feel most connected to Earth?
I’ve always loved sunsets. I find them peaceful and beautiful, and I love how each one is unique. They are also a beautiful reminder of the versatility of reflected light, which I study. Sitting for a moment to appreciate the beauty and calm I feel during a sunset helps me feel connected to Earth.
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What will your mission – CLARREO Pathfinder – tell us about Earth?
CLARREO Pathfinder (CPF) includes an instrument that will take measurements from the International Space Station and will measure reflected sunlight from Earth. One of its goals is to demonstrate that it can take measurements with high enough accuracy so that, if we have such measurements over long periods of time, like several decades, we could detect changes in Earth’s climate system. The CPF instrument will do this with higher accuracy than previous satellite instruments we’ve designed, and these measurements can be used to improve the accuracy of other satellite instruments.
How, if at all, has your worldview changed as a result of your work in climate science?
The longer I work in climate science and learn from the data about how humans have impacted our planet, the more I appreciate the fragility of our one and only home, and the more I want to take care of it.
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What advice would you give your younger self?
It’s ok to not have everything figured out at every step of your career journey. Work hard, do your best, and enjoy the journey as it unfolds. You’ll inevitably have some surprises along the way, and regardless of whether they are welcome or not, you’re guaranteed to learn something.
Do you have a favorite metaphor or analogy that you use to describe what you do, and its impact, to those outside of the scientific community?
I see jigsaw puzzles as a good illustration of how different members of a science community play a diverse set of roles to work through different problems. Each member is often working on their own image within the greater puzzle, and although it might take them years of work to see their part of the picture come together, each image in the greater puzzle is essential to completing the whole thing. During my career, I’ll work on a section of the puzzle, and I hope to connect my section to others nearby, but we may not finish the whole puzzle. That’s ok, however, because we’ll hand over the work that we’ve accomplished to the next generation of scientists, and they will keep working to bring the picture to light. This is how I try to think about my role in climate science – I hope to contribute to the field in some way; the best thing about what I have done and what I will do, is that someone else will be able to build on my work and keep helping humanity come to a better understanding of our Earth system.
What is a course that you think should be part of required school curriculum?
Time and project management skills – I think students tend to learn these skills more organically from their parents and teachers, but in my experience I stumbled along and learned these skills through trial and error. To successfully balance all the different projects that I support now, I have to be organized and disciplined, and I need to have clear plans mapped out, so I have some idea of what’s coming and where my attention needs to be focused.
Another course not specifically related to my field is personal financial management. I was interested in personal finance, and that helped me to seek out information (mainly through various blogs) about how to be responsible with my home finances. There is a lot of information out there, but making sure that students have a solid foundation and know what questions to ask early on will set them to for success (and hopefully fewer mistakes) later on.
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What’s the most unexpected time or place that your expertise in climate science and/or algorithms came in handy?
I think an interesting part of being an atmospheric scientist and a known sky-watcher is that I get to notice beautiful moments in the sky. I remember being on a trip with friends and I looked up (as I usually do), and I was gifted with a gorgeous sundog and halo arc. It was such a beautiful moment, and because I noticed it, my friends got to enjoy it too.
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Can you share a photo or image from a memorable NASA project you’ve worked on, and tell us a little bit about why the project stood out to you?
I absolutely loved being on the PBS Kids TV Show, SciGirls for their episode SkyGirls! This featured a NASA program called Students’ Clouds Observations On-Line (S’COOL). It was a citizen science program where students from around the globe could take observations of clouds from the ground that coincided with satellite overpasses, and the intention was to help scientists validate (or check) the accuracy of the code they use to detect clouds from satellite measurements. I grew up watching educational programming from PBS, so it was an honor to be a science mentor on a TV show that I knew would reach children across the nation who might be interested in different STEM fields. In this photo, the three young women I worked with on the show and I are talking about the different types of clouds.
To stay up to date on Yolanda's mission and everything going on in NASA Earth science, be sure to follow NASA Earth on Twitter and Facebook.
🌎 If you're looking for Earth Day plans, we have live events, Q&As, scavenger hunts and more going on through April 24. Get the details and register for our events HERE.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.
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itsplantbased · a year ago
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PLANT INSIDERS
Plants love starch, so if u have cooked pasta or boiled potatoes save the water, let it cool and give it to ur plants. DO NOT GIVE THEM BOILING WATER THEY WILL DIE, I REPEAT THEY WILL DIE. I add a bowl under the pot with the holes (I forgot the name of it but you know what i mean). Then I put it in the refrigerator to cool and water my plants with it once its cold.
Plants loves coffee grounds. My friend gave her aloe plant coffee grounds and it grew like crazy.
Eggshells are a natural fertilizer. Wash out the slimy stuff from the eggshell and then ground it up into a fine powder, you'll know its ready when it look like fresh crack you can snort (please dont snort the eggshells). You can use a food processor if that helps. Sprinkle the powder on the soil.
Banana peels are a natural fertilizer too. Sun dry the banana peel, you can cut it up into smaller pieces for it to dry quicker. Its ready when its looks like bethany's heat damaged hair: crunchy. When the peels are crunchy, crush it up into a powder. Sprinkle the powder on your soil.
Talk to your plants. It actually helps them grow. Talk to them bout random shit, my plants are literally my therapist.
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moonglaze18 · 3 months ago
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Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.
—Khalil Gibran
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earthqueefnation · 2 months ago
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Alien 101
Technically, there is no such thing as aliens. In the past people called people that come from other countries alien. Now, humanity officially, almost accepts that they are all one race (human). I’m pretty sure when my friends start showing up more, humans will start to realize how vast the Universe is, similarly to when humans started growing bigger civilizations and bumped into each other. 
Before this era, humans were only surrounded by people that looked like them and had the same religion as them. When, humans started interacting with other humans that were completely different, they saw aliens. Calling something an alien has a dehumanizing effect to it. That’s what made it so easy for you humans to kill and torture each other and of course -- the wars. 
Now humans are integrating and diversity is being celebrated. You don’t see each other as aliens anymore. Maybe the reason why us, “aliens” will not intervene with humanity, is because we are waiting for you to realize that other beings have the right to be different and that you must respect that. We don’t want to repeat history. We want you to learn from your history so we can integrate worlds and welcome you to the galaxy and furthermore... the Universe.
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phthalo-5 · 11 months ago
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✨🔮𓇽
ꕥ 𝗔 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁! ꕥ
“𝑊ℎ𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑖𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑐𝑒𝑎𝑛, 𝑎 𝑝𝑒𝑏𝑏𝑙𝑒, 𝑎 𝑔𝑒𝑚𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑛𝑒, 𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑒𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑔𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑠𝑒 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑠 𝑎𝑙𝑙“
~ 𝑆𝑎𝑟𝑎ℎ 𝐵𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑙𝑒𝑡𝑡
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goghwithart · 2 months ago
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🌌Interstellar🌌
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One of my favorite places to pull inspiration from is space. It’s beauty, it’s destructive tendencies, this vast area of wonder that we are lucky enough to call home. It has never ending possibilities on what’s out there, if there’s life (which I believe there is), and if one day it will be possible to dance with the stars and fly to the moon. What I love is that what is science fiction here is probably already a real thing in some other galaxy that’s light years away from us.
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All works done by me (@goghwithart), do not copy in any way/shape/form. All rights reserved ©️
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Follow me on Instagram to see more; @goghwithart
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itsplantbased · 9 months ago
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Tip 19
- start a “eat me first” bin in your fridge
Sometimes our fridges can become Narnia, and we can’t find that red bell pepper we brought a few weeks ago. Then you start thinking you're are crazy because you swear you brought it, but you can’t find it....this is totally not a personal experience.
Have a bin, drawer, shelf, or a location in your fridge for the foods
Put all the foods that are close to its expiration date or almost going bad in the bin
Every time you cook/eat go thru that bin first and see what u can use
This helps reduce food waste and not have random rotting food lying around. Also you can pretend you are on Chopped and it's one of your mystery ingredients.
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yoonalovekim · 10 months ago
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Clouds says something but the detailed story is my secret
IG. yoonalovekim
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oaklandsmermaid · 2 months ago
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Other people: “What’s on your mind?”
Me: “Love.”
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