NASA grants CCNY expert Maria Tzortziou $15M for Arctic coastal mission – CUNY Newswire (2024)

City College of New York ProfessorMaria Tzortziouis the recipient of a $15 million grant from theNational Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA) to lead a new mission that will study the changing Coastal Arctic and impacts on vulnerable ecosystems and communities. Tzortziou’s project, “Arctic Coastlines–Frontlines of Rapidly Transforming Ecosystems (FORTE),” is one of six new NASA-funded airborne missions that will use novel, high-resolution observations from aircraft to complement what scientists can see from orbit, measure from the ground, and simulate in computer models.

The other missions, both domestic and international, include studies of fire-induced clouds, air quality, landslide hazards, shrinking glaciers, and emissions from agricultural lands. They were all selected after a highly competitive process and are designed to provide opportunities to supplement satellite observations and make innovative measurements. Approximately $120 million has been allotted for the six missions, which will deploy at various times from 2026 to 2029. Click here to read more.

“These missions will help us interpret what our current satellites are seeing from space and test new ideas and techniques for our upcoming Earth System Observatory,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “There is also a strong focus on actionable Earth science—gathering fundamental observations that have connections to our economy and societal decision-making and information needs.”

The Martin and Michele Cohen Endowed Professor of Environmental Sciences at CCNY’s Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), Tzortziou’s FORTE project entails observing changes in river systems on the North Slope of Alaska. Deputy PIs on the mission areDr. Antonio ManninoandDr. Blake Clarkfrom NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The study will combine optical and radar measurements from planes, helicopters, boats, and drones to measure water flows and chemistry and observe how ecosystems respond to the changing climate. The Tzortziou team has been working closely with local Indigenous communities who already experience enormous impacts on their livelihoods, culture, food security, physical safety, health, and social structure.

These collaborations will allow FORTE to integrate community-based monitoring in field activities, co-develop training and capacity-sharing programs, and inform this study based on Local and Traditional Knowledge.

“Changes in the Arctic have both local and global environmental, economic, and social implications”. Tzortziou mentioned. “We are really excited we have been selected for this mission. FORTE will fill a critical gap in our understanding and modeling of climate change impacts on ecosystems, resources and communities, by targeting the transitional continuum of Alaska’s northernmost ecosystems – rivers, deltas, lagoons, and estuaries – that connect land to sea: a dynamic continuum that can uniquely be captured from airborne platforms.”

About Maria Tzortziou
In addition to her position as the Martin and Michele Cohen Endowed Professor of Environmental Sciences at CDI, Tzortziou is Director of Research and Applications at the CREST Remote Sensing Earth Institute. She is also Affiliate Professor with Columbia University/LDEO, and Senior Research Scientist at NASA Goddard, where she serves as the Deputy Program Applications Lead for NASA’s PACE satellite mission and the Applied Science Lead for GLIMR, NASA’s first geostationary hyperspectral ocean color mission. Tzortziou has led numerous field campaigns across a range of environments, from the tropics to the Arctic. Her research integrates advanced satellite remote sensing technologies with multidisciplinary datasets and models to assess human-ecosystem interactions, and the impact of multiple environmental stressors on the biogeochemistry, ecology, and biodiversity of inland and ocean ecosystems. Tzortziou has served as an expert on numerous interagency advisory and leadership boards relevant to ocean science, marine technology, and policy, including the Science Steering Committee for the Ocean Carbon Biogeochemistry Program, the Science leadership Board for the North American Carbon Program, the Long Island Sound Study Program Science and Technical Advisory Committee, and the National Ocean Research Advisory Panel that provides independent recommendations to the Federal Government on matters of ocean policy.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization Degree Choices ranksCCNY #1 nationally among universities for economic return on investment. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi (nowLightcast) puts at$1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy(5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself.View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
p: 917.892.0374

NASA grants CCNY expert Maria Tzortziou $15M for Arctic coastal mission  –  CUNY Newswire (2024)
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