"I joined an Oceanography club & actually asked the question that ended up [being] my thesis." an interview with Michael Freilich

Recorded February 19, 2019 Archived February 19, 2019 38:45 minutes
Languages: N/A
Id: APP615136


Michael Freilich, Director of NASA's Earth Science Division, shares about his life studying the oceans and Earth as a system. While still in his high school's oceanography club, he started exploring a question about how waves move that later became his graduate thesis. Later, he worked on efforts to launch new satellites to measure the oceans, and strove to to bounce back quickly from a series of satellite and launch failures, making sure NASA could get the instruments needed for science quickly in orbit. He discusses how the concreteness and practicality of Earth science can serve as a strength when communicating with the public, compared to more esoteric fields. He also discusses the power of collaboration across disciplines to understand Earth as an interconnected, interacting system, particularly when using the view from space, which is uniquely broad and complete in how it shows the Earth. (Recorded 12 December 2018)


  • Michael Freilich
  • Sam Hedlund