October 2023, Volume 2

CESSRST-II Quarterly Highlights

Dr. Fred Moshary

Director, NOAA Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CESSRST-II)

Director's Message

I am happy to share with you our most recent newsletter, which covers CESSRST-II activities from the Summer and Fall of this year. The Center finished it first year of CESSRST-II with a symposium at the beginning of August that brought together Center Cohort students and Faculty members from across CESSRST’s 6 institutions, as well as NOAA subject matter experts and NOAA Advisory Board members from various Line Offices, Centers and Laboratories, to share research results and research ideas of mutual interest, and participate in discussion panels and workshops. The CESSRST-II Advisory Board met with the Center leadership and other faculty and staff members to review the Center accomplishments and provide advice and guidance to further Center’s training and capacity building. 

The Center continues to make stronger connections with NOAA, which is now strengthened with on-boarding of the new Distinguished Research Scientist, Dr. Mitchell Goldberg, formerly the Senior Scientist at NOAA NESDIS. The Center Education Expert, Dr. Faun Rockcliffe, continues to build on student training programs working with Center and NOAA subject matter experts to insure that CESSRST-II succeeds in its goal of recruiting, training, and graduating diverse cohort of students who have competencies in NOAA mission aligned STEM areas and will go on to join the NOAA enterprise workforce. 

The Center has on-boarded 15 graduate students in its Cohort II that join the continuing Cohort I students. We look forward to a great second year.

Center News

Symposium 2023

CESSRST-II hosted it's first Annual Symposium

The First Annual CESSRST-II Symposium took place from Monday, July 31, 2023 to August 3, 2023 at the City College of New York. It was an opportunity for students, faculty and NOAA collaborators  to present their NOAA Mission Aligned research work. The Symposium also provided a forum for students, faculty, and the NOAA community to discuss cutting edge Earth system science and remote sensing applications research topics and to  engage in professional development workshops.

CESSRST-II Welcomes Kym Leggett, Administrative Coordinator

Kymberley Leggett, joined CESSRST-II as the Administrative Coordinator on September 11th, 2023. She is a graduate of University of Michigan (B.A. Sociology). Prior to joining CESSRST, Kym served as the Program Assistant in the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan, where she supported the undergraduate and graduate programs, and managed curriculum, facilities, and the main office.

“Kym” has served in several faculty, staff-, and student-facing roles at UM over the span of 8 years. Beginning as an Admissions Assistant in the Residential College, Kym assisted prospective students with finding their fit in an academic community at the large university. She also held the title of Dean’s Fellow for the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, where she worked alongside faculty and staff members to organize staff and student diversity certificates, working groups, and advance initiatives in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

Kym will be supporting the Center management and student affairs.

Student News Highlights

CESSRST Graduate Scholar receives Prestigious Graduate Fellowship Program (GFP)

Jahnelle Howe, a Ph.D. Student Fellow from CESSRST-II Cohort 1, was awarded to the NOAA EPP/MSI Graduate Fellowship Program (GFP).

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Dani Lafarga, CESSRST-II Cohort 1 Fellow at SDSU publishes in Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography

Dani's work titled "A Feasibility Study of Three-Dimensional Empirical Orthogonal Functions From the NASA JPL Ocean General Circulation Model: Computing, Visualization and Interpretation".


CESSRST Graduate Scholar Recognized for Outstanding Diversity Paper at ASEE Environmental Division Conference

CESSRST-II fellow Isabel Lopez has been honored for her exceptional contributions to the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Environmental Division conference. Lopez’s paper, titled “How Active Rainwater Harvesting may help Reduce...

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Stephanie Marquez was recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Geological Sciences and Environmental Research

Stephanie Marquez, CESSRST-II Fellow, was highlighted for her work on multi-scale changes in soil moisture using remote sensing and geophysics techniques in the Chihuahuan Desert of North America. 

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Wendy Prudencio passes her dissertation proposal defense

Wendy Prudencio moves closer to her PhD as she passes her dissertation proposal defense. Wendy is officially a PhD Candidate at the School of Public Policy at UMBC.

Eder Herrera successfully defends his doctoral thesis on June 30th

Eder completed his doctoral thesis and presented his work this past summer. He graduated at the end of the summer and now works as a Research Associate at CUNY.

Alana Menendez PhD Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, presented her doctoral dissertation “Eyes on the Sound: Assessing drivers of biogeochemical variability in vulnerable coastal areas” on Wednesday, September 20th and will graduate at the end of Fall 2023.

Student Presentations & NOAA Seminar Series

Dr. Fernando Tormos-Aponte and Scholars Wendy Prudencio & Gwen Alexandre presents at NOAA Seminar Series

 Fellows, Wendy Prudencio and Gwen Alexandre and their mentor Dr. Fernando Tormos-Aponte delivered a talk on July 26, 2023, at the CSL Lab as part of the NOAA Science Seminar Series. The presentation was titled, ‘The Drivers and Consequences of Social Vulnerability to Disasters.’

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Our One NOAA Science Seminar Student Presentations

  • Mapping and monitoring turbidity in estuaries using remote sensing on August 9, 2023 by Stephany Garcia
  • Uncertainties in the retrieval of remote sensing reflectance from OC satellite observations on August 9, 2023 by Eder Herrera
  • Remote sensing of anthropogenic debris in stream channels on August 22, 2023 by Elena Aguilar
  • Arctic Feedbacks on Trace Gas Compositions on August 22, 2023 by Francia Tenorio
  • Fostering Collaboration and Advancing Research: A Year-Long Internship at NOAA’s Physical Sciences Laboratory on October 5, 2023 by Julio Ceniceros
  • Design of a Low SWaP Dual-Band Radiometer for UAS Remote Sensing Applications on October 24, 2023 by Maria Novoa Garcia
  • Inter-comparison and Validation of Remote Sensing Satellite based Soil Moisture on October 24, 2023 by Stephany Marquez

Faculty & Research News Updates

Dr. Maria Tzortziou was invited as the Lead Author for the Third Decadal U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan

"It is truly an honor to be invited to lead this effort. This work will focus on developing the new Science Plan for U.S. Carbon Cycle Science, and identify new directions for the Carbon Cycle community especially in light of new and emerging U.S. government priorities and international assessments and agreement" - Dr. Tzortziou

Drs. Maria Tzortziou and Jorge Corredor appointed to Ocean Research Advisory Panel

Dr. Maria Tzortziou, CESSRST-II Theme 1 Lead (Oceans & Coasts) and Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Science at CCNY and Former CESSRST-1 DRS,   Dr. Jorge Corredor (UPRM) are among a group of researchers appointed by the White House...

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CESSRST-II UTEP Scientist’s Remote Sensing Innovation

Dr. Laura Alvarez, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Environment and Resource Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) was recently featured in an article for her innovation in Remote Sensing, which is a core technical area for CESSRST-II aligned with the NOAA mission. Specifically, leading her research team, which included an Electrical and Computer Engineering...

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CESSRST Participated in the successful AEROMMA, CUPiDs and STAQS Mission

Over the summer of 2023, NOAA and scientists around the world including CESSRST Faculty and students, participated in NOAA AEROMMA/CUPiDs field campaigns.  CESSRST also join in a project called “Air (Ine)quality in New York City” which was a backpack/street level field mission. 

CESSRST-II Fellows including Harold Gamarro and Thomas Ely participated in this campaign.  Harold Gamarro was involved in leveraging a suite of forecast products to accurately predict weather conditions for the East Coast portion of the project and Thomas joined in measuring air quality around New York City 

AEROMMA Campaign

Courtesy: Harold Gamarro

Balloon Launch for AEROMMA Campaign

Courtesy: Thomas Ely

Read about the Campaigns

Alumni & Graduation News

Congratulations to Eder Herrera

Dr. Eder Herrera-Estrella graduated in September 2023 from the Graduate Center of CUNY with his Doctorate in Earth & Environmental Sciences. He is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the CCNY.

Events & Seminars


Upcoming Events

  1.  Climate Change Seminar Series: Tropical Cyclones and Climate Change - December 7, 2023
  2. American Geophysical Union 2023 - San Francisco, CA
  3. 104th AMS Annual Meeting 2024 - Baltimore MD
  4. Climate Change Seminar Series: Climate, Ecosystems and Fisheries Management - January 18, 2024

Upcoming events & calendar

CESSRST-II program is funded by NOAA/EPP Cooperative Award # NA22SEC4810016

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