All NEBP Speaker Series presentations can also be found on the NEBP Education YouTube channel.

March 26, 2024: Drs. Jacob Izraelevitz and Siddarth Krishnamoorthy, NASA JPL

Thank you, Drs. Izraelevitz and Krishnamoorthy, for presenting on "Balloon Investigations from the Clouds of Venus," we appreciate your time and insight! If you missed the talk, you can watch the recording of their presentations here.

Dr. Jacob Izraelevitz is a technologist and group lead at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Extreme Environment Robotics. Jacob received a B.S. from Olin College of Engineering, followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fluid mechanics of flapping wings. Jacob has served as an aerodynamics and systems engineer for Mars helicopters both in mission formulation and in flight. He is also the Principal Investigator of JPL's Venus Variable Altitude Aerobots task, developing the technology for long duration buoyant flight in the Venus cloudlayer. 

Dr. Siddharth Krishnamoorthy received his PhD in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University and joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2017. He works with the Ionospheric and Atmospheric Remote Sensing Group on developing remote sensing technologies for Venus and Earth. Siddharth’s main research interest lies in instrumentation, novel remote sensing techniques, and developing enabling technologies for planetary exploration. He has a diverse background in building, testing, and deploying software and hardware solutions to study complex multi-physics problems. He is the technical lead of the Balloon-based Acoustic Seismology Study and the Avionics Lead for the Venus aerobot development project. He is also a member of the Venus Exploration and Analysis Group (VEXAG) Steering Committee.

March 15, 2024: Dr. Jamey Jacob, Oklahoma State University

Thank you to Dr. Jamey Jacob for his presentation, "Eclipses, Solar Balloons, and Drones, Oh My!". In case you missed the presentation, you can view the recording here.

Jamey Jacob is the Executive Director of the OSU Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE) and the Williams Chair in Energy Technology and Regents Professor of Aerospace Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He is the lead on the NASA University Initiative WINDMAP to improve weather forecasting through drone observations. Other space-related interests include space architecture & habitability, inflatable structures, and design for microgravity. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and his M.S and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and 1995, respectively. He was a National Research Council Summer Faculty Fellow in the Air Force Research Laboratory and received the SAE Ralph Teetor Award, the Lockheed Martin Teaching Award, and the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards, among other mentoring accolades. He is a native Oklahoman and dedicates much of his efforts to STEM workforce development, tribal engagement, and increasing diversity in engineering and science. While at OSU, he developed their NASA eXploration HABitat (X-HAB) and Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunity programs, developing Earth analogs, tools, and techniques for deep space habitation studies.

March 6, 2024: Jennifer Fowler, NASA Langley Research Center

Thank you, Jennifer, for presenting on "Total Solar Eclipses Influencing My Path to NASA," we appreciate your time and insight! If you missed the talk, you can watch the recording of Jennifer's presentation here.

Jennifer Fowler is the Center Range Flight Safety Lead for NASA Langley Research Center. Her expertise lies in areas of autonomous atmospheric data collection and weather modeling research, with 21 years of experience with autonomous systems and collaborations around the world. She enjoys new challenges and tries to bring a fresh perspective to these challenges. She has experience in analyzing an array of datasets and enjoys finding new patterns that benefit a project in unexpected ways. Jennifer's background includes teaching in higher education, designing and building prototype sensors, piloting uninhabited and habited aircraft, and project management with numerous grants. A highlight of her career is 7 years leadership experience coordinating, managing, mentoring, and data analysis for the 2017, 2019, and 2020 Total Solar Eclipse Radiosonde Ballooning Projects. Jennifer received her B.A. in Physics from Rutgers University and her M.S. in Business Analytics from the University of Montana.

Check out Jennifer's recent publications below.

Fowler J, Boyle D, Revesz J, Cluts J (2024) Use of an Uninhabited Aircraft System (UAS) for Atmospheric Observations During an Acoustic Flight Test, AIAA SciTech Forum (

Wilhite T, Fowler J, Medina A (2024) Uninhabited Aerial System Drop in Balloon Borne Radiosonde Alternative for Lower Tropospheric Flights, AIAA SciTech Forum (

Spangrude C, Fowler J, Moss G, Wang J (2023) Validation of the WRF-ARW Eclipse Model with Measurements from the 2019 & 2020 Total Solar Eclipses, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, European Geosciences Union.

March 1, 2024: Dr. Chris Packham, University of Texas San Antonio

Thank you to Dr. Packham for presenting "NEBP and My Astronomical Story". You can review the recording here

Dr. Packham is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Texas at San Antonio and holds a visiting professorship at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Feb. 21, 2024: Geoff Bland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Thank you to Geoff Bland for presenting "NASA's Earth Observations from the Third Dimension (Up)." Watch the recording here

Bland is a research engineer for NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center - Wallops Flight Facility. He has a long history of developingsmall unmanned aircraft and instrument systems for Earth science research, including alternative platforms and associated instrumentation such as tethered blimps and kites. Bland is co-I of the AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network (NASA AREN).

You can view the slides from Geoff's talk here (NEBP Education Google Drive)

February 14, 2024: Dr. Araceli Martinez Ortiz, University of Texas at San Antonio

Thank you to Dr. Araceli Martinez Ortiz, professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Biomedical Engineering & Chemical Engineering/Interdisciplinary Learning & Teaching at UT-SA. She holds the Microsoft President’s Endowed Professorship and is a NASA MSI Faculty Fellow IPA.

Dr. Ortiz developed the NASA Future Aerospace Engineers and Mathematicians Academy (FAMA), a mathematics-based engineering design program for teachers and students. She also received a competitive faculty fellowship with NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement this year, where she advises on education program design and research elements with NASA headquarters’ teams. You can view the recording here: NEBP Speaker Series: Dr. Araceli Martinez Ortiz.

February 9, 2024: Dr. Michael Kirk, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Thank you to Dr. Michael Kirk for sharing his insight into the 2024 solar eclipse and how it serves as natural laboratory that allows for an enhanced understanding of the complex relationship between the Sun and Earth. If you missed the talk, you can watch the recording:NEBP Speaker Series: Dr. Michael Kirk.

Dr. Michael Kirk is a research scientist in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He is the Principal Investigator of NASA's Heliophysics Education Activation Team (NASA HEAT). Dr. Kirk is a Co-investigator on the SunCET CubeSat mission, launching in 2024. In addition, he is helping to lead NASA Goddard’s Center for HelioAnalytics which seeks to integrate data science into heliophysics to better the physics of the sun, the causes of solar variability, and its impacts on Earth. Dr. Kirk received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University, where his research focused on automated tracking of chromospheric bright points and their connection to solar eruptions. During this time, he also worked for the Air Force Research Laboratory at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, NM. Upon graduation, in 2013, he joined the Heliophysics division as a fellow with the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP). After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and prior to entering graduate school, Dr. Kirk first worked at Goddard Space Flight Center in 2007 as a systems engineer researching the changing position and size of the polar coronal holes throughout the solar cycle. Dr. Kirk grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Outside of work he enjoys discovering new music and experimenting with home-roasting coffee.

February 1, 2024: Dr. Sarah Roth, Chief Technologist, NASA Balloon Program Office

Thank you to Dr. Sarah Roth for sharing an overview of the NASA Balloon Program, including launch locations, standard systems, and development efforts, as well as her STEAM background! If you missed the talk, you can watch the recording: NEBP Speaker Series: Dr. Sarah Roth.

Dr. Sarah Roth is the Chief Technologist for NASA’s Balloon Program Office located at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, VA. In her current role, Sarah shapes the future of technology development to advance the capabilities of the high-altitude scientific ballooning program. She has a passion for educational outreach and works with students each semester through internships and mentoring opportunities. Sarah holds a Doctorate of Engineering in Engineering Management from George Washington University, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Bowling Green State University. She performs regularly with local music groups, is an avid gardener and has a passion for the fiber arts.

January 25, 2024: Dr. Diana Doan-Crider, Animo Partnership in Natural Resources, LLC

Thank you to Dr. Doan-Crider for sharing her expertise and valuable insight into how we can use Indigenous Knowledge in addressing black bear conservation strategies! If you missed the talk, you can watch the recording: NEBP Speaker Series: Dr. Diana Doan-Crider - The Power of an Acorn.

Diana is a wildlife, range and landscape ecologist who has been studying black bears (Ursus americanus) for more than 30 years in her family’s homeland of Northern México to see how food production influences bear movements across large, arid landscapes. Diana attended the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo Leon and the University of Arizona, and received her BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Montana, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and Texas A&M University. For her research, she implemented westernized science approaches in combination with local knowledge to assess how black bears used arid landscapes. Her mother’s family is Tepehuán (Odam) and Zacateco from the grassy hills of Durango, Coahuila, and Zacatecas, México, but Diana was not raised traditionally so she did not have access to the Indigenous Knowledge that could have given her better understanding for the development of long-term and grounded black bear conservation strategies. Today, Diana focuses on culture- and place-based education and capacity building with Indigenous communities through collaborating with colleagues at Tribal Colleges and Universities. Diana is the Director of Animo Partnership in Natural Resources, the coordinator for the Native American Rangelands Partnership, and is the PI for Salish Kootenai College on a National Science Foundation project called AGEP Willow that addresses Native American faculty recruitment and retention in STEM fields.

January 16, 2024: Dr. Jie Gong, Goddard Space Flight Center

Thank you to Dr. Gong for sharing the NASA mission process and her professional journey. If you missed the talk, you can watch the recording: NEBP Speaker Series: Dr. Jie Gong, atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and NEBP Subject Matter Expert.

Dr. Gong came to NASA Goddard as a co-op scientist in 2012, right after the completion of her 2-yr postdoc training at JPL. She joined the civil service in 2022. Dr. Gong's research interests span across multitudes, from ice cloud/frozen hydrometeor remote sensing to atmospheric gravity waves, from boundary layer water vapor to lower atmosphere - ionosphere/thermosphere coupling. Her current projects focus on (1) developing better frozen hydrometeor retrieval algorithms for next generation radiometers; (2) expanding machine learning techniques to better solve atmospheric science problems; (3) understanding lower-upper atmosphere coupling using satellite observations, model simulations and ML techniques. Dr. Gong completed her PhD and undergraduate training from Stony Brook University and Peking University, respectively. In her spare time, she love spending time with her two kids and husband at swimming pool, hiking, reading, watching movies and taking vacations around the world.

September 26, 2023: Eclipse Soundscapes and GLOBE Eclipse

September 26 presentation video thumbnail

Thank you to Trae Winter and Kristen Weaver for joining us to share their eclipse-related participatory science projects and their own personal STEM stories.

If you missed the presentation, you can watch the recording here: NEBP Speaker Series: Eclipse Soundscapes and GLOBE Eclipse (Sept. 26, 2023).

Check out the links below for more information!


NASA internships programs

Eclipse Soundscapes
GLOBE Eclipse