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September 27, 2012

NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati to Discuss “Looking Homeward Toward Earth: The Power of Perspective,” Oct. 16

In 1968, Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders took an image of planet Earth as it emerged from the lunar horizon. The picture, "Earthrise," changed forever society’s view of our celestial home, according to NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati.

The image of Earth—beautiful and vulnerable, and suspended in dark stillness—inspired an appreciation that there is one human race, whose fate hinges delicately on mankind’s collective actions.

Abdalati will demonstrate the tremendous power of the space-based perspective in science, exploration and in daily life, in his lecture "Looking Homeward Toward Earth: The Power of Perspective" at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

The illustrated lecture, the sixth in a series of programs in 2012, is presented through collaboration between the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The collaboration is in its sixth year.

According to Abdalati, space-based observations of Earth have provided essential insights and information across the full spectrum of human activities and natural processes, and have even become a mainstream part of our daily lives. From documenting disappearing Arctic ice cover, to providing key insights to hurricane evolution, to tracking the amount of movement and cycles of Earth’s biomass, these observations allow us to understand how and why our world is changing, and what these changes mean for life on Earth.

Abdalati was appointed NASA chief scientist in January 2011, and serves as the principal adviser to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on agency science programs, strategic planning, and the evaluation of related investments. For Abdalati, this appointment marks a return to NASA, where he worked in the field of Earth science from 1996-2008. His research has focused on the use of satellites and aircraft to understand how and why Earth's ice cover is changing, and what those changes mean. He is currently on leave from the University of Colorado, where he is a professor and the director of the Earth Science and Observation Center in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

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PR 12-182
ISSN 0731-3527

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