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A Data Support Specialist works with the user community to understand their science needs with the goal of providing support for NASA data and information services.  They represent the user in product development and development resources to assist with the user community's needs.  This person works directly with users to solve problems using NASA data, or to provide resources to improve understanding of the data. 


Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate and examine how those conditions affect human activity and the earth in general. Most atmospheric scientists work indoors in weather stations, offices, or laboratories. Occasionally, they do fieldwork, which means working outdoors to examine the weather. Some atmospheric scientists may have to work extended hours during weather emergencies.




Elizabeth Forsbacka is an instrument manager. She leads a diverse team to design, build and test Earth or space science instruments. She says "My job is to build a good team that can do it all. Our work from design through delivery of the spacecraft usually takes about four years." See what it's like to work on this sort of project.



Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices including tools, engines, and machines. These are essential systems in platforms in NASA's Earth Science missions, like satellite and airborne missions.  Mechanical engineers work mostly in engineering services, research and development, and manufacturing. 


At the core of scientific visualization is the representation of data graphically - through images, animations, and videos - to improve understanding and develop insight. Data visualizers develop data-driven images, maps, and visualizations from information collected by Earth-observing satellites, airborne missions, and ground measurements. Visualizations allow us to explore data, phenomena and behavior; they are particularly effective for showing large scales of time and space, and "invisible" processes (e.g. flows of energy and matter) as integral parts of the models.


Data scientists work with data captured by scientific instruments or generated by a simulator, as well as data that is processed by software and stored in computer systems. They work with scientists to analyze databases and files using data management techniques and statistics. From changes in sea level,  atmospheric composition, or land use, data scientists help make sense of the petabytes of data that NASA collects and stores.


An environmental planner tries to minimize the environmental impacts of housing, industrial, and transportation-related construction projects. Environmental planners help project managers navigate the environmental permitting process where they review a site to investigate potential environmental effects. This includes the effects of natural disasters.