Andrea Portier

Personalizing Precipitation Data: 5 Questions with Andrea Portier

Meet Andrea Portier. 

By day, Portier is an application and outreach coordinator for the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM). By night — well, when she’s not at work — Portier can be found exploring local national parks and taking community classes.

Portier spends her time honing her communication skills to help user communities understand GPM data and apply it to the real-world issues they face.

We chatted with Portier to learn how she communicates complex ideas to diverse audiences, why her other career choice would be a wilderness therapy guide, and what advice she would give to her younger self.

How would you describe your work?

From operational groups — such as NOAA’s National Hurricane Center — to private industries to the general public, I work with a number of end-user communities to better understand their needs and facilitate the use of GPM data and products for decision-making. I also work collaboratively with project leads in the Applied Sciences community to make valuable connections between end-users and the GPM team that help manage and produce GPM data and products.

Whether I’m working with conservation groups who are trying to reduce human-elephant conflict or principal scientists assimilating GPM data in weather forecasting systems — it’s exciting to engage with such a wide range of scientists and user communities. I communicate what GPM data are to these end-users and how they can be tailored to specific applications. The community I work with is a large part of why I love my work. 

Photo of science outreach coordinator Andrea Portier in Germany
​Portier enjoying views of southern Germany atop Zugspitze peak south of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Credits: NASA/James Datko
It’s incredibly rewarding to see the impact of satellite data for applications from water resources and agriculture to public health to energy. End users are taking Earth data to help a range of communities around the world. For example, GPM precipitation data can be used as input to produce weekly mobile alerts to help farmers determine when to plant and/or irrigate their crops. These types of weekly alerts have even helped farmers conserve freshwater resources in parts of Pakistan and northern India.

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