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NASA Goddard scientist receives Presidential Early Career Award

GREENBELT, Md. -- President Obama has named six NASA individuals as recipients of the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Temilola "Lola" Fatoyinbo-Agueh, an environmental scientist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. was one of the recipients.

The PECASE awards represent the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. They recognize recipients' exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge, and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through professional leadership, education or community outreach.

"I am very excited and pleased to see one of Goddard's up and coming scientists recognized by the President through this prestigious award," said Nicholas White, Director Of Sciences & Exploration at NASA Goddard.

The 2011 NASA recipients were nominated by the agency's Science Mission Directorate, Office of the Chief Engineer, and Office of the Chief Technologist.

Temilola (Lola) Fatoyinbo-Agueh, an environmental scientist at NASA Goddard was recognized for exceptional achievement in merging scientific priorities with advanced technology to develop innovative remote-sensing instrumentation for carbon-cycle and ecosystems science.

Some of her research brought her to the African coastlines to test a new satellite technique for measuring the area, height, and biomass of mangrove forests. Fatoyinbo used data from the Landsat satellite, NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission and IceSat satellite along with a remote sensing software-based classification method. She and a colleague created three new kinds of maps of mangroves: continental maps of how much land the mangroves cover; a three-dimensional map of the height of forest canopies across the continent; and biomass maps that allow researchers to assess how much carbon the forests store.

The NASA recipients and 90 other federal researchers will receive their awards in a ceremony later this month in Washington.

"These talented individuals have already made significant contributions to the agency's mission at this early stage in their careers," said NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati. "We look forward to celebrating their continued success for many years to come."

The PECASE awards were created to foster innovative developments in science and technology, increase awareness of careers in science and engineering, give recognition to the scientific missions of participating agencies, enhance connections between fundamental research and many of the grand challenges facing the nation, and highlight the importance of science and technology for America's future. Eleven federal departments and agencies nominated scientists and engineers for the 2011 PECASE awards.


Contact: Rob Gutro
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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