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Dixon Butler graduated from Harvard University (AB,’71, AM,’71) and Rice University (MS, ’74; PhD, ’75). His research focus was on atmospheric photochemical modeling first of planetary ionospheres and subsequently on stratospheric ozone depletion. He joined NASA in 1976 and had an early transition from research to serving as a science program manager, where he led the planning of the Earth Observing System (EOS), and went on to lead a division with responsibility for all NASA Earth science mission data systems and operations and the development of EOS Data and Information System. In 1979-80, he served as American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Congressman David R. Obey.
In 1996, he joined the leadership team of the GLOBE Program, an initiative of Vice President Al Gore to promote international K-12 environmental science education. Dixon served as Chief Scientist and eventually Deputy Director and Director. In 2003, Butler joined the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Appropriations, serving as Democratic Clerk of the Energy and Water Subcommittee until 2008. He then worked on the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee with responsibility for the appropriations accounts of NASA and NSF until retiring from federal service in January 2011 and began consulting with a primary focus on NASA and its continuing operation of GLOBE.
Dixon Butler is the Founder and President of YLACES (Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists). He is a consultant to government agencies, non-profits, foundations and corporations on a wide range of science-related areas. His deep expertise includes science and information system management, satellite mission planning, STEM and environmental education, budget and appropriations, remote sensing, energy, environment, nuclear, science, and space policy.