Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Special Seminar: Two Decades of Observing Sea Level: How it has shaped my vision for ESOC

Special Seminar: Two Decades of Observing Sea Level: How it has shaped my vision for ESOC


Steve Nerem

Dr. Nerem joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado in August 2000 after spending over 6 years at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center as a geophysicist, and over 4 years at the University of Texas at Austin as an assistant and associate professor. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from Colorado State University (1982) and his M.S. (1985) and Ph.D. (1989) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Nerem also worked for NOAA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during his graduate training.

Dr. Nerem has more than 90 refereed journal articles covering a variety of topics in satellite geodesy, geophysics, oceanography, climate change, atmospheric science and planetary science. He has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, and as Geodesy Editor for Eos Transactionsof the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He also was awarded an Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing by the journal Geophysical Research Letters in 1993. In 2002, he was elected to a 2-year term as Secretary of the Geodesy Section of the AGU. In 2005 he gave the honorary Bowie Lecture at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union and he received the AGU Geodesy Section Award in 2006. He was elected a Fellow of the AGU in 2008.

Dr. Nerem is a specialist in satellite remote sensing, satellite dynamics, sea level change, and space geodesy, the latter dealing with measuring the Earth's shape, gravity field, and sea level using space-based techniques. Dr. Nerem has participated in a variety of NASA flight projects including Lageos-2, TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, Jason-2, GRACE, Pioneer Venus Orbiter, and Mars Observer. In 1995, Dr. Nerem was awarded NASA's Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his research in the area of gravity field determination, in addition to a dozen NASA achievement and performance awards he received while at NASA. Dr. Nerem's research is currently supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation. He is currently a member of NASA's Ocean Surface Topography Science Team, the SWOT Science Definition Team and the GRACE Follow-On Project Science Team. He has led three different NASA Interdisciplinary Science (IDS) teams studying various aspects of sea level change. He was also recently selected to be the Team Lead for NASA's Sea Level Change Team (N-SLCT), an interdisciplinary team of ~40 scientists tasked with advancing sea level science using NASA satellite data. He was a Lead Author of the IPCC 5thAssessment Report (AR5) released in 2013.

Dr. Nerem has taught graduate level classes in space flight dynamics, satellite geodesy, satellite technology, remote sensing, GPS positioning and data analysis methods, and undergraduate classes in orbital dynamics, applications of GPS and senior projects. He is currently Associate Director of CU's Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, and a Fellow of CU's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

Abstract: Many of today's most important Earth science problems require interdisciplinary solutions, often using advanced technology that wasn't available even a decade ago. One of these problems, climate change, can be best understood using the global observations provided by satellite-based remote sensing. In this presentation, sea level change will be used as an example of how multi-disciplinary teams of scientists can work together to advance our understanding of the Earth using remote sensing measurements. The Earth Science & Observation Center (ESOC) has focused on addressing just such problems. A vision for how ESOC can move forward and solve these problems using a variety of satellite, airborne, and ground-based remote sensing technology will be presented. Concluding comments will be made on the importance of ESOC for addressing societal problems and how ESOC fits into the objectives of NASA and other federal research agencies.


CIRES Auditorium - CIRES - University of Colorado