Dr. Arlene S. Levine
I am the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) manager in the Atmospheric Sciences Competency. I am also the EPO manager on the Geostationary Infrared Transform Spectrometer (a.k.a. GIFTS) project, the next generation satellite to study the Earth's atmosphere and weather. GIFTS will obtain measurements of many atmospheric gases based on the science of spectroscopy, where each gas in the atmosphere has a unique spectral signature or fingerprint.
I will also serve as the manager of EPO on a proposed Langley mission to fly the first airplane on Mars. This mission is called the Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey of Mars, or ARES. If selected by NASA Headquarters, ARES will be the first flight of an airplane outside of our planet. ARES will fly at an altitude of about 1 mile above the surface of Mars and will investigate the atmosphere, climate, surface and interior of Mars. One of my jobs on ARES is to engage the general public, especially the students and teachers in this exciting and innovative mission.
Earlier in my NASA career, I worked on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), a spacecraft about the size of a school bus that spent 69 months orbiting the Earth investigating the space environment and its effects on materials.
My average day consists of interacting with the researchers and the general public. At NASA, we are motivated to reach under-utilized populations in science, mathematics, and engineering, including, girls, diverse ethnic, racial and geographic groups (female and male). Working towards this goal, I have initiated and conducted a series of workshops on The Earth System and Global Change for Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Leaders, and Girl Scout Trainers at both the local (Virginia and North Carolina) and national level (at Girl Scouts Macy National Training Center in Briarcliff, New York). The Earth System consists of the following four components: the atmosphere (the air), the hydrosphere (the water), the lithosphere (the solid planet), and the biosphere (life). I developed the course content of the Earth System workshops with the researchers that will present the technical material. I also developed and illustrated the scientific principles for these workshops with a series of hands-on demonstrations and experiments (involving physics, chemistry and mathematics) that the student participants could perform by themselves without supervision.
The most exciting and enjoyable aspect of my job is the gratification of accomplishing something important and possibly even changing the career goals of students.
I was born and raised in New York City, where I attended public schools. I was a good student and always liked math and science, but never thought I would be working with some of the nation's top scientists, engineers and mathematicians at NASA. After high school, I attended Queens College of the City of New York, where I received a Bachelors degree in psychology. I later received a Masters and Doctorate in counseling from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. My career goal was to study and/or teach human behavior.
I joined the faculty of Hampton University as an instructor in counseling. As a faculty member, I applied for and received an ASEE (please spell out acronym) summer research science/engineering fellowship at the NASA Langley Research Center. I spent a very interesting summer working with scientists and engineers in the NASA Langley Space Station Office. My research assignment was to investigate the psychological effects of long duration space missions. This is an important and relative problem as humans venture into space for longer and longer periods. At the end of my ten-week research assignment, I was offered employment as a NASA contractor. Two years later, I was able to find a permanent position as a NASA civil servant employee.
As a senior in high school I did feel pressured not to choose science as a career. My high school physics teacher even told me that science was not a gender appropriate area for a girl. My advise to anyone choosing a career is "follow your dreams" and do not let anyone else's judgment select your career for you.
When I am not working at NASA, I also enjoy baking bread, growing African violets and reading.
Arlene has received the Girl Scout Council of Colonial
Coast's "Dorothy Barber Lifetime Achievement Award"on
March 22, 2003. This award recognizes an adult member who has given outstanding
service to the Girl Scout community and is a role model for both girls
|Note: This site's list of Women at NASA Langley is by no means complete. For more information on how you as a NASA LaRC civil servant can participate in this web site or Latina WON, please visit the "WON LaRC Candidates" page. Thank your for your interest!|
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