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School of Natural Resources Seminar Series - Robert Swap

Lessons Learned from Leading NASA’s SAFARI 2000

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Hardin Hall Room: 107 South (Auditorium)
3310 Holdrege St
Lincoln NE 68583
Additional Info: HARH
Virtual Location: Zoom View Seminars
Target Audiences:
Eric Hunt,
NASA supported the development and implementation of the Southern African Regional Science Initiative known as SAFARI 2000. This effort, which involved over 250 participants from 16 different countries, was the Agency’s first effort to conduct a coordinated regional science and satellite calibration and validation activity of the NASA Terra environmental satellite platform in support of the NASA Earth Observing System. This seminar has the focus sharing behind the scenes perspectives of what it took (and takes!) to lead a large international NASA effort such as SAFARI 2000. Lesson learned related to integrated, regional scale science, science diplomacy and the hardest type of engineering – ‘human engineering’ will be presented with the goal being to help inform the development of the next generation of leaders in science, technology and engineering. Emphasis is placed on respectful approaches to collaboration, the co-creation of joint ventures and on putting knowledge into action to address the expressed needs of stakeholders.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Swap is currently the Associate Division Director for Mission Planning in the Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Prior to assuming this position he served as the Principal Investigator of the NASA Pandora Project in Goddard’s Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory. While serving as a Research Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, he has served as: Principal Investigator of the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000); Director of the Eastern Virginia Networks and Associations regional knowledge network (ESAVANA); Fulbright Senior Specialist in Mozambique; Subject Expert for the 2008 U.S. State Department’s GDEST-Africa delegation on Geospatial Science and Technology for Sustainable Development; U.S. Embassy Science Fellow in Windhoek, Namibia; and Earth Science Directorate Program Officer in the Radiation Sciences Program in the Earth Sciences Division Research and Analysis program at NASA’s HQ. Dr. Swap received his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia while working on topics related to the long range transport and impact of African aerosols. He is the 2012 Carnegie Foundation Virginia Professor of the Year for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring and holds the title of Extraordinary Professor in Environmental Sciences and Management at North West University-Potchefstroom, South Africa. He was also inducted into the University of Virginia Academy of Teaching in 2014. In addition to his research interests, Dr. Robert Swap is a practitioner of Science Diplomacy and Servant Leadership who has held many academic and governmental leadership positions related to collaborative research and education in emerging regions, most notably sub-equatorial Africa and Brazil. He is often called upon to share his expertise on topics including international partnerships, engaged pedagogies, servant leadership, and Science Diplomacy for numerous universities and institutions such as AAAS, TWAS, and the UN.

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This event originated in SNR Seminars & Discussions.