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Dr. Michael H. Freilich is the Director of the Earth Science Division, in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. Prior to this, he was a Professor and Associate Dean in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University and a member of the Technical Staff at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Dr. Freilich has extensive knowledge and experience in determination, validation, and geophysical analysis of ocean surface wind velocity measured by satellite-borne microwave radar and radiometer instruments. He has developed scatterometer and altimeter wind model functions, as well as innovative validation techniques for accurately quantifying the accuracy of spaceborne environmental measurements.
He has served on many NASA, National Research Council (NRC), and research community advisory and steering groups, including the WOCE Science Steering Committee, the NASA EOS Science Executive Committee, the NRC Ocean Studies Board, and several NASA data system review committees. He chaired the NRC Committee on Earth Studies, and served on the NRC Space Studies Board and the Committee on NASA/NOAA Transition from Research to Operations.
His honors include the JPL Director's Research Achievement Award (1988), the NASA Public Service Medal (1999), and the American Meteorological Society's Verner E. Suomi Award (2004), as well as several NASA Group Achievement awards. Dr. Freilich was named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2004.
He earned his Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Univ. of California at San Diego in 1982, and BS degrees in Physics (Honors) and Chemistry from Haverford College. He is author or co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers related to geophysical analysis of ocean surface wind velocity.
Dr. Freilich's non-scientific passions include nature photography and soccer refereeing at the youth, high school, and adult levels.