We are excited to announce the recipients of the first IMPACT awards! These awards spotlight exceptional performance of IMPACT members who have excelled and demonstrated a commitment to excellence. Join with us in congratulating each of the following team members.
Chuck Daniels received the Star Gate award to honor efforts that go above and beyond in making new connections between projects. Chuck navigated the complex task of integrating the Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program long-term phase data system with NASA’s Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project. He has served as the primary liaison between the various ESDIS teams including working with the cloud metrics team to ensure log files are delivered as expected, the Cognito team to ensure Cumulus is configured correctly to interface with an authentication and authorization service, and the Cumulus team to ensure server configurations are correct.
Ashish Acharya was honored with the Galaxy award for his ability to step back and see projects with a larger view and to integrate and connect disparate aspects. Teammates describe Ashish as possessing a calm demeanor and outstanding critical thinking capability. Before implementing anything, he first starts looking at what is being done and what is available. Keeping long term goals in focus, he conceptualizes shorter and longer term approaches for tasks such as whitelisting vocabulary, identifying commonalities between different data sources, developing API endpoints, and looking across multiple services to merge redundant services.
Sean Harkins was recognized with the Planet award, designated for an individual demonstrating “gravity” by quickly and creatively “spinning up” a dynamic tiling service that attracted positive attention and resources. In October, the United States Forest Service (USFS) approached the Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) team about integrating short-wave infrared false color composite (SWIR FCC) imagery into NASA Worldview. Sean pushed the team to be forward-thinking and to generate a dynamic tiling service on top of the HLS data rather than using static imagery. Within 3 months, the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) team was testing integration with Sean’s dynamic tiling service and by March the product was operational in FIRMS. A recent Earthdata article provides more details about this contribution to the fire community.
Shelby Bagwell received the Comet award given to a fast-rising individual who has shown excellence in all assigned duties. Shelby has proven time and time again her competence and ability to learn quickly to address any task she is assigned. From developing Catalog of Archived Suborbital Earth Science Investigations (CASEI) curation training materials and writing countless GitHub tickets to keep the team effort moving along to completing arduous curation work with a keen eye for details. Shelby diligently tested new features and updates developed for both the maintenance and user interfaces of CASEI. She takes great initiative to think ahead and clearly communicates results, questions, issues or new challenges as they arise.
Alexandra Kirk was presented with the Escape Velocity award, which recognizes an individual who is able to overcome an adverse problem or large obstacle and finish strong. Alexandra has been instrumental to the Visualization, Exploration, and Data Analysis (VEDA) project. From time to time, the VEDA project has hit snags. For example, domain names stopped working or issues would arise with the application programming interfaces. Alexandra has always been proactive about figuring out the cause of problems and fixing them.
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Satkar Dhakal was awarded with the Shooting Star. This award is given to someone who excels at a short term effort lasting between three and six months (in Agile terms, between 1- 2 program increments or 6–10 sprint cycles). While already good at everything he does, Satkar was able to pick up work on the natural language processes tool, BERT-E, left behind by a former IMPACT team member. Even though machine learning was new to Satkar, he quickly came up to speed on the code and ended up doing an exceptional job in extending the capabilities and functionality of the tool.
Heidi Mok was honored with the Spark award which honors an individual demonstrating exemplary creativity and innovation. As a new Development Seed employee and IMPACT team member, Heidi jumped into the ADMG project and instantly started seeing creative ways to improve CASEI design and function. She has shepherded the team through the occasionally painful process of moving from ideas to implementation. Heidi is a big part of the CASEI user interface and management interface improvements made this past year and we are so grateful she joined the ADMG team!