LASP’s Peter Pilewskie named to prominent National Academies committee for space-based research

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LASP’s Peter Pilewskie named to prominent National Academies committee for space-based research

Peter Pilewskie, a senior researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been named to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Earth Sciences and Applications from Space (CESAS). This prominent committee supports scientific progress in Earth system science and applications, with an emphasis on research requiring global data that are best acquired from space.

“CESAS is a crucial committee for advancing space-based research of our planet, including collecting data that are necessary for us to understand and mitigate the intensifying effects of climate change,” said LASP Director Dan Baker. “Peter’s appointment reflects the tremendous scope and reach of his research. He and his team have significantly improved the accuracy with which we can monitor climate trends. His leadership within the scientific community is truly extraordinary.”

Pilewskie’s research interests include the study of Earth’s radiation budget using observations from space; climate trend monitoring; surface, airborne, and satellite remote sensing of clouds and aerosols; and atmospheric radiative transfer. He is the principal investigator (PI) for two NASA missions, Libera and CLARREO Pathfinder, as well as the deputy PI for the TSIS-1 mission currently deployed on the International Space Station. Collectively, these missions focus on gathering the increasingly accurate data from space-based instruments that is needed to help researchers answers nuanced questions about Earth’s climate system.

Prior to joining LASP and the university’s Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Sciences, where he is a professor, Pilewskie was at NASA’s Ames Research Center, where he conducted airborne measurements of atmospheric radiation for cloud and aerosol remote sensing and radiative energy budget applications.

Pilewskie was named a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2018 and has served as the president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences’ International Radiation Commission since 2020. Pilewskie has also received numerous honors throughout his career, including the Humboldt Research Award, the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, and a dozen NASA group achievement awards. He earned a PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Arizona.

The Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space (CESAS) is a forum for identifying and discussing Earth system science research that requires data from space with the research community, the federal government, and interested members of the public. The committee supports scientific progress in the field and provides advice to the federal government on the implementation of decadal survey recommendations. The latest decadal survey, “Thriving on Our Changing Planet: A Decadal Strategy for Earth Observation from Space,” was published in 2018.

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