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Webinar 4: Weather and Climate

May 9, 2024, 8:00 p.m. ET


In this webinar we will explore Earth’s weather and climate through the lens of NASA. Learn the difference between weather and climate, why it’s challenging to accurately predict the weather, and explore different weather and climate models. Also, learn how NASA’s “Earth to Sky” program is engaging with interpreters across the U.S. to collaborate and share this and other information with the public. 




Dr. Marshall Shepherd


Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international weather-climate expert and is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia.  Dr. Shepherd was the 2013 President of American Meteorological Society (AMS), the nation’s largest and oldest professional/science society in the atmospheric and related sciences. Dr. Shepherd serves as Director of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Atmospheric Sciences Program, the Associate Director of Climate and Outreach for the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems, and Full Professor in the Department of Geography where he was a previous Associate Department Head. In 2023, he was appointed Associate Dean for Research, Scholarship and Partnerships in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia. His areas of research include urban climate, hydrometeorological extremes, weather-climate risk, and innovative outreach strategies.

Dr. Shepherd spent 12 years as a Research Meteorologist at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and was Deputy Project Scientist for the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, a multi-national space mission that launched in 2014. Dr. Shepherd is frequently sought as an expert on weather, climate, and remote sensing. He is also the host of The Weather Channel’s Award-Winning Weather Geeks, a pioneering TV talk show/podcast and a Senior Contributor to Forbes Magazine.  He routinely appears on CBS Face The Nation, NOVA, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, The Weather Channel and several others. His 3 TED Talks have nearly 3 million viewers, and he is also frequently asked to advise key leaders at NASA, the White House, Congress, Department of Defense, and officials from foreign countries. 

Dr. Shepherd co-authored a children’s book on weather and weather instruments called Dr. Fred’s Weather Watch.  He is also the co-founder of the Alcova Elementary Weather Science Chat series that exposes K-5 students to world-class scientists. Dr. Shepherd is originally from Canton, Georgia. 


Kasha Patel


Kasha Patel is the deputy weather editor for the Capital Weather Gang at The Washington Post, covering weather, climate change and the environment. Before joining The Post, she produced news stories, videos and features about the Earth sciences, climate change and satellite research for NASA. She specialized in topics at the intersection of the environment and public health, such as tracking infectious diseases from space. Patel also has significant on-screen experience, appearing on the Weather Channel and BBC, among others. She hosted an award-winning miniseries on NASA TV highlighting Earth science research in the field. She was previously the host of the Undark science magazine's podcast.


Geneviève de Messières


Geneviève de Messières is the lead for the Earth to Sky Interagency Partnership. She is based at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD and lives nearby with her wife, dog, and three cats. Before arriving at NASA, she earned her PhD in astronomy from the University of Virginia and managed the Astronomy Education Program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. She is a Virginia Master Naturalist and especially likes to garden with native plants, to birdwatch, and to identify solutions for light pollution. With Earth to Sky, she is particularly excited to build strong ties with interpreters and communicators across the nation, focusing on making all voices welcome. She enjoys working with the community of NASA-funded earth scientists, identifying their goals and outreach interests, and connecting them with interpreters with a common focus in their place-based work. She looks forward to working with you to improve access to excellent tools for interpreting climate change.


Andrea Portier


Andrea Portier works at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and serves as Applications Lead and Coordinator for the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission and the Atmosphere Observing System. 

In these roles, she engages with different stakeholder communities to understand and quantify how NASA satellite data products are applied for decision-making as well as promote and educate potential users about how NASA data can benefit their work and lives. 

Prior to working at NASA, Andrea served as a Science Assistant at the National Science Foundation. Andrea holds a M.S. in Geological Sciences from University of Florida, and received a B.S. and a B.A. from Ohio State University in Geological Sciences and International Studies.


Dorian Janney

Photo of Dorian Janney

Dorian Janney has a passion for sharing the wonders of NASA's science and exploration with others across all age levels! For over three decades she taught public school in both special and general education settings across all grade levels. She was an Einstein Fellow Finalist, achieved National Board Certification in Science Education, served on numerous education working groups, and has written science curriculum for the country. She now serves as the GPM Education and Outreach Coordinator, developing resources to help share the science, technology, and real-world applications of GPM with others. She is a Mentor GLOBE trainer, a member of the GLOBE Education Working Group, and supports the GLOBE field campaigns. Her most recent project is leading an effort to engage Lifelong Learners with The GLOBE Campaign’s Citizen Science efforts.




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