Chelle L. Gentemann, Ph.D., senior principal scientist at Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and RSMAS Alumna (pictured here with her kids) is the recipient of this year’s Falkenberg Award. The award, jointly sponsored between the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Earth Science Information Partnership (ESIP), is given to a scientist under age 45 who has contributed to the quality of life, economic opportunities and stewardship of the planet through the use of Earth science information.
While at RSMAS Chelle served as a graduate research assistant in the laboratory of UM Professor Peter Minnett, working on physical models of daytime warming to establish better approaches to the interpretation of satellite-derived SSTs, and on the improved uncertainty error characterization of satellite-derived SSTs using shipboard radiometers.
“We are very proud of Chelle’s accomplishments. She was a very conscientious and highly-motivated student, earning several awards for “Best Student Papers” at scientific meetings of the AGU and the American Meteorological Society during her time here. The Falkenberg Award is well-deserved and shows the respect that Chelle has earned from her peers in the world-wide satellite oceanography research and operational communities,” said Minnett.
Her current research at RSS focuses on the extraction of accurate geophysical variables from measurements of imaging microwave radiometers on earth observation satellites. Exploiting the fact that microwave radiation emitted by the sea surface is largely unaffected by clouds as it propagates through the atmosphere, Chelle’s research includes the calibration of microwave radiometer and validation of sea surface temperature, studying the modification of sea-surface temperature (SST) by tropical cyclones and the daily heating and cooling of the upper ocean. She also contributes to improvements to the blending of SSTs derived from infrared and microwave radiometers.
She is also a lead-PI of the MISST (Multi-sensor Improved SST) project, which is a multi-institutional research effort to improve the accuracies and demonstrate applications of satellite SSTs. She participates in the National Research Council Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space, the NASA SST Science Team, the JAXA GCOM AMSR2 Science Team, the Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST) Science Team and Advisory Council, and is active in the GHRSST Diurnal Warming, Sea Ice, Multi-Product Ensemble, and Data Management Working Groups. She is also a member of the AGU, American Meteorological Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Chelle received her Ph.D. in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science in 2007. She attended the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she received her Master’s in Physical Oceanography, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences.