NASA administrator James “Jim” Bridenstine will present a complimentary public discussion titled “The Future of NASA in Earth and Space Sciences” Wednesday, Oct. 31, on the University of Oklahoma Norman campus. The discussion is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at Meacham Auditorium in the Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.
Bridenstine comes to OU in celebration of the Geostationary Carbon Cycle Observatory ‘GeoCarb’ – a science mission to space led by OU and funded by NASA. At $161 million, it is the single-largest contract to be received in school history. The mission marks one of the most exceptional accomplishments in OU history.
“As a Congressman, Jim Bridenstine saw the possibilities of utilizing communication satellites as a host for Earth observing instruments,” said Berrien Moore III, principal investigator for GeoCarb and dean of the OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. “This was our inspiration for flying the GeoCarb instrument as a hosted payload on an SES communication satellite. In addition, we look forward with excitement to hearing his vision for the Future of NASA in Earth and Space Sciences.”
Bridenstine served in Oklahoma’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2012 to 2018. During that time, he served on the Armed Services Committee; the Science, Space and Technology Committee; and numerous subcommittees. He is the first member of Congress to lead NASA.
Prior to his work in Congress, Bridenstine was an aviator in the U.S. Navy, where he flew combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and achieved nearly 2,000 flight hours and more than 300 carrier-arrested landings. He also served at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center, the parent command to the U.S. Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program ‘TOPGUN.’
Bridenstine retired from active duty and returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he served as executive director for the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium.
An alumnus of Jenks High School, Bridenstine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University, where he completed a triple major in economics, psychology and managerial studies. He earned his MBA from Cornell University.
OU has partnered with NASA, Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center and SES Government Solutions to develop GeoCarb, a first-of-its-kind space Earth science mission. GeoCarb is a scientific observatory that will be placed on a commercial communications satellite to study Earth from more than 22,000 miles above Earth’s equator, paving the way for future low-cost, commercially enabled Earth observations.
The mission is bringing together technology and science to study how and why the global carbon cycle is changing, as well as measure vegetation health. Scanning from North America to South America, the observatory will produce daily maps of carbon gas concentrations and plant health.
Admission to the 10:30 a.m. discussion is complimentary. Attendees are asked to register in advance at ou.edu/geocarb. For more information or accommodations, call the GeoCarb Project Office at (405) 325-0667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.