Claire Parkinson has been the Project Scientist for the Aqua mission (formerly PM-1) since the spring of 1993. She is a climatologist at Goddard Space Flight Center, where she has worked since July 1978. For much of that time, her research has centered on satellite data analysis of sea ice and the role of sea ice in the global climate system. She has also numerically modeled sea ice and has done field work in both the Arctic and Antarctic, most recently as Chief Scientist on an expedition to Resolute Bay and the North Pole in April 1999. She is lead author of an atlas of Arctic sea ice from satellite data and coauthor of two other sea-ice atlases. Beyond her sea ice work, Claire has coauthored a textbook on climate modeling and coedited a book on satellite observations related to global change. She has also written an introductory text on satellite imagery of the Earth and a book on the history of western science from 1202 to 1930.
Claire has served on the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Polar Meteorology and Oceanography and the same society's Committee on the History of Atmospheric Sciences. She has served as an Associate Editor of the International Glaciological Society's Annals of Glaciology and as a Scientific Editor of the Journal of Glaciology. She has also served on the Advisory Panel on Climate and Global Change for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and on the Climate Research Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. She is currently a science advisor for the Earth & Sky radio program and for Soundprint Media Center's radio series on Explaining Space Science. Claire has a B.A. in mathematics from Wellesley College, where she was elected to both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, and a Ph.D. in climatology from Ohio State University.
In conjunction with her role as Aqua Project Scientist, Claire served as a member of the EOS Science Executive Committee from 1996 to 2000 and co-edited (with Renny Greenstone) the EOS Data Products Handbook, volume 2, covering the Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor Satellite (ACRIMSAT), Aqua, Jason-1, Landsat 7, Meteor 3M/Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III), Quick Scatterometer (QuikScat), Quick Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (QuikTOMS), and Vegetation Canopy Lidar (VCL) missions.