Dr Parkinson is a climatologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where she's worked since July 1978 and where her research is focused on polar sea ice and its connections to the rest of the climate system and to climate change. Since April 1993, she has additionally been Project Scientist for the Aqua satellite mission, which launched in May 2002 and is transmitting data on many atmospheric, oceanic, land and ice variables from its suite of six Earth-observing instruments. Most of her research has involved the analysis of sea ice from satellite data, although she has also developed a numerical model of sea ice and has done fieldwork in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. Dr Parkinson is the lead author of an atlas of Arctic sea ice and a co-author of two other sea ice atlases, and she has written books on satellite Earth observations and the history of science. She has been awarded a NASA Exceptional Service Medal, a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the Goldthwait Polar Medal from the Byrd Polar Research Center. She is a fellow of both the American Meteorological Society and Phi Beta Kappa and holds a B.A. in mathematics from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in climatology from Ohio State University.
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