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Applied Sciences Members Honored

Jessica Sheaves
NASA Earth Applied Sciences writer

Congratulations to all the Applied Sciences members who received prestigious NASA agency awards! These awards are NASA’s highest forms of recognition. They acknowledge individuals and teams who show excellence and leadership in their roles.  

"I’m proud of the contributions each of these individuals have made in advancing Earth science applications," said Lawrence Friedl, director, Applied Sciences Program. “2021 was another demanding year with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to continue operating virtually. These individuals showed incredible leadership and helped their teams push forward despite the challenges.” 

The following Applied Sciences members and teams received awards this year:

woman smiling for picture in front of country and mountain view
Kathryn Carroll, Project Support Specialist.

Kathryn Carroll received the Exceptional Administrative Achievement Medal. Carroll was recognized for her hard work and innovation in helping the Applied Sciences team pivot to remote work at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. From embedding timers into presentations to organizing virtual "office hours" for the Associate Director of the Earth Science Applied Sciences Program, she helped make the virtual transition as smooth as possible.





collage of multiple people smiling
Space Apps Challenge Global Organization Team.


NASA's International Space Apps Challenge Organization received the Group Achievement Award for the Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge, allowing 15,000 people from 150 countries to use NASA data to solve challenges related to the pandemic. The Applied Sciences Prizes and Challenges initiative is among the supporters of Space Apps.

Helena Chapman Agency Awards 2021
Helena Chapman, Associate Program Manager, Health & Air Quality.


Helena Chapman received the Early Career Achievement Medal. Chapman’s medal was a nod to her outstanding early career service for advancing applications of Earth science observations to improve public health and air quality.




Sarah Brennan Agency Awards 2021
Sarah Brennan, Deputy Program Manager, Water Resources and Agriculture.




Sarah Brennan received the Exceptional Public Service Medal. Brennan plays an important role in helping to grow the NASA Harvest program. This program works to advance the use of Earth observations for global food security and agriculture.



Lauren Childs-Gleason Agency Awards 2021
Lauren Childs-Gleason, DEVELOP Science Manager, Capacity Building.





Lauren Childs-Gleason received the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Medal. Childs-Gleason is DEVELOP’s science manager, where she ensures the scientific merit of the projects undertaken by this program that seeks to foster the next generation of scientific leaders and Earth observation users. Childs-Gleason coordinates advisors and other partnerships for DEVELOP and is recognized here for  her efforts to advance DEI.


Kartik Sheth Agency Awards 2021
Kartik Sheth, Program Scientist.




Kartik Sheth received the DEI Medal. During his time with Applied Sciences, Sheth worked with the VALUABLES consortium. VALUABLES is a collaboration with the nonprofit research institute Resources for the Future. VALUABLES quantifies and communicates the socioeconomic benefits of satellite data applications.



Emily Sylak-Glassman Agency Awards 2021
Emily Sylak-Glassman, Program Manager.




Emily Sylak-Glassman received the Unsung Hero Award. Sylak-Glassman is currently on detail to the NASA Headquarters Office of Technology, Strategy and Policy. During her time with Applied Sciences, she managed a portfolio of Applied Sciences efforts, including strategy and budget planning.



satellite image of city with multiple shades of orange
Image used in RRNES project; caption and project details can be found in this story on




Several members of the Applied Sciences Program supported the Review and Management Team for NASA’s Rapid Response and Novel research in the Earth Sciences (RRNES) program element. The Review and Management Team received a Group Achievement Award for their support in assessing inputs for, reviewing, and managing proposals submitted to the RRNES solicitation for environmental impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEVELOP Agency Awards 2021
DEVELOP Software Carpentry Team.



DEVELOP’s software carpentry team received the Silver Achievement Medal. This team, which is led by partner Science Systems and Applications, was recognized for its rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When DEVELOP needed to switch to a fully virtual experience, this team made it happen.



Disasters 2021 Agency Awards
Disasters Program Area.


The Disasters program area team received the Excellence in Collaboration group achievement award. This award recognizes group accomplishments that contribute substantially to NASA’s mission.



Watch the awards ceremony here: 

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