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Key Staff

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Michael D. Bicay, Director of Science

Michael D. Bicay, Director of ScienceDr. Michael D. Bicay, a native of suburban Minneapolis, earned B.S. degrees in Physics and Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in 1981. He earned M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1987) degrees in Applied Physics from Stanford University. The research for his Ph.D. dissertation was carried out during a three-year residency at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. His research interests included large-scale structure in the universe, the atomic gas content of spiral galaxies, and the infrared properties of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. Upon returning to the mainland US, he accepted a National Research Council fellowship at the California Institute of Technology's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), the primary NASA science center for the InfraRed Astronomical Satellite (and subsequent space-borne infrared observatories). In 1989, he transferred to a position on the IPAC science staff, where he conducted research on the distribution of thermal infrared and non-thermal radio emission within spiral galaxies, and on the propagation of cosmic rays within galaxy disks. One year later, he accepted a visiting appointment as a Senior Scientist in the Office of Space Science at NASA Headquarters. Nominally a two-year position, he ultimately spent the next six years as Program Scientist for various infrared, submillimeter and radio astronomy missions and programs. While in Washington, he also served as an astrophysics consultant to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. After returning to Pasadena in 1996, he joined the science staff of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Space and Earth Sciences Directorate, and was a member of the science staff in the Project Office for the Spitzer Space Telescope, the final element in NASA's Great Observatories program. His planning and advocacy were essential in establishing and managing the innovative Spitzer Legacy Science Program. Dr. Bicay transferred to the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) at Caltech in early 1998, where he served as the primary liaison between the SSC and the external scientific community. In 2000, he was named SSC Assistant Director for Community and Public Affairs. In September 2004, Dr. Bicay accepted a Senior Executive Service (federal government) appointment as the Division Chief for Space Science and Astrobiology at NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. In October 2005, he became Director of Science at Ames, leading a Directorate of 400+ staff (including 160 civil servants) conducting research in space, Earth and biological sciences.

 
 
Carol W. Carroll, Deputy Director of Science

Carol W. Carroll, Deputy Director of Science Mrs. Carol Carroll is the Deputy Director of Science at Ames and the Director for the Ames ISS Utilization Office. She successfully completed the Senior Executive Service Career Development Program (SESCDP) in June 2008. Prior to the SESCDP, she served as Program Manager for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Program. In 2001, Ms. Carroll worked at NASA Headquarters, serving as the Program Executive for the In-Space Propulsion Program in the Office of Space Science. Prior to going to HQ, she worked in the Space Technology Division for seven years as a Systems Engineer, Project Manager, Deputy Division Chief, and ultimately acting Division Chief where she managed the research and technology development efforts for Thermal Protection System development, aerothermodynamic analysis, and arc jet testing and nanotechnology. Ms. Carroll has served in various leadership capacities on numerous NASA programs, including multiple Space Transportation projects, such as the X-33 and X-34, and the Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel Modernization Project. Prior to joining Ames, Ms. Carroll was a Senior Engineer in private industry where she performed technical management for the design, analysis, fabrication and testing of several prototype and production missile launch systems. Ms. Carroll is the recipient of several awards including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, numerous NASA Group Achievement awards, and the Boeing Pride In Excellence Award for Engineering Excellence. She is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and obtained her BSME from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
 
 
Fred Van Wert, Associate Director for Management Operations

Fred Van Wert, Associate Director for Management Operations Fred Van Wert received an MPA degree from Brigham Young University before joining NASA in 1973 as Administrative Specialist for the Institute for Advanced Computation (ILLIAC IV Project). In 1978 he became Financial Manager for the 40x80x120 Wind Tunnel Modification Project, then transferred to the Space Projects Division as Financial Manager and Performance Measurement Analyst for the Galileo Jupiter Probe Project in 1980. In 1982 he became Project Control Officer for the National Full-Scale Aerodynamic Complex (NFAC) Project, overseeing cost, schedule and configuration management functions through its completion in 1987. He then returned to the Space Projects Division as Lead Resources Manager, supporting Pioneer Mission Operations, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), Superfluid Helium On-Orbit Transfer, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), and Lunar Prospector. In 1997 he became Resources Executive for the Space Directorate and in 2007 was named Associate Director for Management Operations in the Science Directorate, with responsibilities for employee health and safety, the voluntary protection program, environmental management, export control compliance, small business technical coordination, IT security, travel and training, property and records management, directorate office support, and the Ames Management System. He also serves as the Ames representative to the NASA Postdoctoral Program and is a member of the Ames Exchange Council. Mr. Van Wert has received the NASA Distinguished Service medal for contributions to numerous NASA teams and missions, the Ames Honor Award for professional excellence, and numerous group achievement awards.
 
 
 
 
Marlowe S. Primack, Executive Assistant, Science Directorate

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Timothy Lee, Chief, Space Science and Astrobiology Division

Timothy Lee, Chief, Space Science and Astrobiology Division Dr. Timothy J. Lee was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where his passion was participating in many sporting activities with his two brothers. He earned a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry, with a minor in Chemical Engineering, from the Colorado School of Mines, followed by a Ph.D. in Theoretical (Physical) Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He accepted a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Following his postdoctoral studies, he worked as a Research Scientist for the ELORET Institute at NASA Ames Research Center for five months before accepting a civil service position at Ames within the Computational Chemistry Branch. In 2001, he moved into the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division, and in 2005 he became the Astrophysics Branch Chief within the Space Science and Astrobiology Division. Since March 2007, he has been the Division Chief of the Space Science and Astrobiology Division. Dr. Lee's research involves the development of novel quantum mechanical methods in electronic structure theory and their application to chemistry and physics problems in the study of the interstellar medium, planetary atmospheres, T dwarfs, Earth sciences, novel rocket fuels, and other areas of interest to NASA. Currently, he is actively involved in the calculation of highly accurate rovibrational, temperature-dependent spectra of small molecules of interest to infrared astronomy and astrophysics, including ammonia and methanol. He is also researching the vertical electronic absorption or emission processes in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), neutrals, cations, anions, and other derivatives, such as nitrogen substituted PAHs (PANHs), or PAH clusters, and the investigation of the properties of molecules of interest in atmospheres (including Earth) such as chemical stability, thermal stability, spectroscopy (both rovibrational and electronic), ozone depletion potentials, and global warming potentials. Dr. Lee has authored or coauthored more than 165 peer-reviewed publications, and for his research accomplishments he was awarded the 1998 Dirac Medal of the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists, and was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (2001) and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005). He is listed among the most accomplished chemists in the world according to the Hirsch Index and counts the Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal among his NASA honors.
 
 
Mark L. Fonda, Deputy Chief, Space Sciences and Astrobiology Division

Mark L. Fonda, Deputy Chief, Space Sciences and Astrobiology Division Mark L. Fonda is Deputy Chief of the Space Science and Astrobiology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. He earned his B.S. in Biology from the University of California -- Davis in 1979, and his MBA in Management from Golden Gate University in 1985. He started working at Ames in 1981 for General Electric in the Life Science Division and became a civil service employee in 1989 as a Physical Scientist in the Exobiology Branch of the Space Science Division. While working for General Electric, Mark participated in all aspects of the Space Shuttle Flight Experiments Program including: science definition, mission operations, test and integration and project management for Space Shuttle Flight Projects (SL-3, SLS1 and SLJ). Since becoming a NASA employee, he has lead many project teams including development of the Gas-Grain Space Station Facility for International Space Station and a variety of Space Sciences planetary instrument/facility definition and development laboratory breadboard concepts. In 1999-2001 he was Project Manager for a series of Astrobiology Missions to study the Leonids meteor showers. In 2003, he was named the Space Science Division Deputy Chief and served as the Acting Division Chief for Space Science Division in 2004. He is now the Deputy Division Chief for Space Sciences and Astrobiology, assisting in leading a Division of 55+ Scientific and Administrative Staff (including another 40+ contractor and grantee staff) conducting both basic and applied research in Space Sciences. In addition to his managerial responsibilities, Mark currently assists NASA Headquarters in the technical management of the Planetary Protection Research and Analysis Program.
 
 
Steve Hipskind, Chief, Earth Sciences Division

Steve Hipskind Mr. Hipskind has been the Chief of the Earth Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center since 2005. With over 100 scientists, postdocs, students and technical staff, the Division expands knowledge of Earth system science, utilizing NASA observations from space, as well as from conventional and unmanned aircraft. Mr. Hipskind began his career as a support scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado studying air-sea exchange and large-scale atmospheric circulation. From there he took a research position at Oregon State University, developing tools for atmospheric analysis. Mr. Hipskind came to Ames in 1980, researching stratosphere-troposphere exchange, and helping organize a major international field campaign to Darwin, Australia in 1987 studying dehydration of air entering the tropical stratosphere. Mr. Hipskind participated in NASA's Airborne Antarctic Ozone Expedition to Punta Arenas, Chile also in 1987. In 1988 he took his first position with NASA as Deputy Project Manager for the international Arctic ozone experiment in Stavanger, Norway. In 1992 Mr. Hipskind became the lead for the Earth Science Project Office, managing a series of NASA airborne field experiments around the world. In 1997 Mr. Hipskind was competitively selected as Branch Chief of the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Branch. He completed the Senior Executive Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2002. In 2003 on detail to NASA HQ, he was part of a high-level, interagency team, that planned and executed the first Global Earth Observation Summit which included science ministers from 33 countries and was opened by Secretary of State Colin Powell. Mr. Hipskind was responsible for producing the video, presented at the summit by the NASA Administrator, depicting an inter-agency, international vision for Earth Observation. In 2004 he completed the NASA Senior Executive Candidate Development Program (SESCDP). He was competitively selected as the Division Chief in 2005. Mr. Hipskind has received the NASA Exceptional Achievement medal and numerous NASA Group Achievement awards.
Mr. Hipskind received an M.S. and B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Virginia. He has been happily married since 1975, has three grown children and enjoys getting out into the California wilderness.
 
 
Sid Sun, Chief, Space Biosciences Division

Michael D. Bicay, Director of ScienceSidney Sun has been leading the Space Biosciences Division at NASA Ames since February 2011. This position is an outgrowth of his experience leading research and development efforts in a multitude of areas, including space biology, space technology, information systems, and spaceflight systems development. Following his lifelong dream that started as a child watching every Apollo moon landing, Mr. Sun is committed to space exploration, eager to see how humans and other living systems can prosper as they travel great distances into space.

Mr. Sun has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve, and an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of California at Berkeley. He started his career at NASA in 1988, working on early concepts for a biology laboratory for the International Space Station. Space biology has been the central theme to his career at NASA Ames, including assignments as project manager for the Life Sciences Glovebox, Specimen Chamber Service Unit, and Lab-Scale Controlled Ecological Life Support System. His first management assignment came in 1998, when he was Staff Assistant to the Deputy Director of NASA Ames. From 2000 to 2006, he served as Deputy Chief of the Life Sciences Division, the organization that would eventually become the Space Biosciences Division. More recently, he's served as: Project Manager for ISS Research, Deputy Project Manager of Constellation Data Systems, and Project Manager for Lunar Lander Collaborations.

As a Certified Professional Coach (certification from New Ventures West), Mr. Sun helps others become stronger leaders. By blending a supportive one-on-one approach with an indepth knowledge of the challenges facing leaders today, he helps agency personnel to define and achieve professional and personal goals. Within his own career, he's received two individual leadership awards from NASA Ames, as well as awards from the NASA Human Spaceflight Program, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. He's also been cited on numerous NASA Group Achievement Awards.

 
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