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

Marshall Shepherd -h.env.stream
Marshall Shepherd

UGA’s J. Marshall Shepherd part of the effort

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, marshgeo@gmail.com or marshgeo@uga.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @DrShepherd2013, and learn more about his research at http://geography.edu/directory/profile/shepherd-marshall/.

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