NASA Scientist to Speak at Thomas Nelson Community College in Celebration of Earth Day

Published: April 8, 2009

Dr. Jack Fishman, a Senior Research Scientist in the Science Directorate at NASA’s Langley Research Center, will speak at Thomas Nelson Community College at 7 p.m. on April 21, 2009 as part of NASA’s weeklong celebration of Earth Day.

Sponsored by the Science Club at Thomas Nelson Community College, Dr. Fishman’s talk will be held in the Espada Conference Center of the Hampton campus and is free and open to the public.

The talk is entitled “Satellite Observations of Air Pollution: Local Impacts Seen from a Global Perspective” and will focus on how NASA scientists have used satellite measurements to observe and understand the complex interaction between local sources of pollution and how the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere has been modified on a global scale.

Air pollution in the United States impacts human health by cutting short thousands of lives each year. Air pollution also costs American farmers billions of dollars annually in terms of crop loss and reduced productivity, and has greatly impacted the vitality of forests, especially in the eastern U.S. Since the 1970s, scientists and engineers at NASA Langley have been in the forefront of measuring air pollution from space and we are now in the midst of developing the next generation of instruments that will be used to better understand the mechanisms that lead to wide spread air pollution episodes to better forecast the impact of such events and mitigate the resultant detrimental effects.

Dr. Fishman has been a research scientist for thirty-five years, studying the composition of the troposphere and leading efforts such as the development of models that provide insight into the processes controlling the chemistry in the atmosphere. For the past two decades, he has been a pioneer in the use of existing satellites to study global pollution and is currently championing the development of the next generation of NASA’s satellites devoted to measuring air pollution.

The scientists of the Science Directorate at NASA Langley are driven to find answers to questions that affect the health of the planet and the people on it. For more information about this unique organization, visit: For more information about NASA’s Earth Day celebration, visit .

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