Rocket launch to collect global weather data ‘big deal for Earth’

UGA’s J. Marshall Shepherd part of the effort

Marshall Shepherd

February 28, 2014

Alan Flurry

Alan Flurry

Director of Communications, Franklin College

Recent and archived articles by Alan Flurry

Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Work: 706-542-3331

J. Marshall Shepherd

J. Marshall Shepherd

Athletic Association Professor in the Social Sciences and director, UGA Atmospheric Sciences Program

Department of Geography
Franklin College of Arts and Sciences
Work: 706-542-0517


  • magnify Marshall Shepherd

    Marshall Shepherd, director of UGA's Atmospheric Sciences program, has been interested in meteorology since the sixth grade and now helps UGA students become meteorologists.

Scroll Left 1 Scroll Right

Related Sites

Tanegashima, Japan - A Japanese H-IIA rocket carrying the NASA-JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory rolled out Feb. 27 to launch pad 1 at the Tanegashima Space Center in Tanegashima, Japan. The University of Georgia's J. Marshall Shepherd previously served as NASA deputy project scientist for the mission.

"This mission is a big deal for the Earth," he said. "Weather, climate extremes and their impacts on society don't stop at borders and neither should our observations."

Shepherd is the Athletic Association Professor of Social Sciences at UGA and immediate past president of the American Meteorological Society.

The Global Precipitation Measurement, or GPM, spacecraft will collect information that unifies data from an international network of existing and future satellites to map global rainfall and snowfall every three hours.

"Assessment of water cycle, weather (and its extremes) and climate requires global data. Likewise, our weather, climate and hydrological prediction models require input (e.g., from weather balloon, satellites, etc.) that represents ‘global' atmospheric circulation, heating and other processes," Shepherd wrote on his blog on Feb. 27.

For more information about the mission, contact Shepherd at 706-542-0517, or Follow him on Twitter at @DrShepherd2013, and learn more about his research at

Shepherd is also director of the UGA Atmospheric Sciences Program. For more information, see or follow the program on Twitter at @UGAAtmosSci.


Filed under: Environment, Climate / Weather

Media Relations

Executive Director for Media Communications
Greg Trevor

706 / 542-8025
Executive Editor for Media Relations
David Bill

706 / 542-9150
Media Relations Coordinator
Sara Freeland

706 / 542-8077
Media Relations Coordinator for Broadcast
Melissa Jackson

706 / 542-8089

Open Records

Open Records Manager
Bob Taylor

706 / 542-8095