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The NASA’s Earth Observing System program that began in the late 1980s (billed as the world’s most advanced system to measure global climate change), allowed me an entry into the full breadth of Goddard Space Flight Center, including project management, spaceflight hardware, data processing and data systems, and scientific algorithms. In this talk, I will describe my early unsuccessful pursuits in atmospheric electricity to more rewarding research in radiative transfer and remote sensing of aerosols and clouds. More importantly, I will describe this evolution, address key aspects of success as a well rounded scientist, and briefly address my crystal ball view of the future of Earth science.