04:08 AM

Charles Laymon Appointed Principal Investigator and USRA Director of the Science and Technology Institute at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC)

Dr. Charles (Chip) Laymon has been selected to lead the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Science and Technology Institute at the National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) in Huntsville, AL. Dr. Laymon will serve as the Principal Investigator for the collaborative research and educational agreement with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Director of the USRA NSSTC Program. A geoscientist and twenty-one year veteran of USRA, Dr. Laymon's research has focused on remote sensing applications to the study of hydrologic processes.

USRA CEO and President, Dr. Frederick A. Tarantino cited Dr. Laymon's selection as an example of the high-quality technical leadership and science management expertise that USRA, with its significant reach into the research and academic communities, can bring to Earth and space science applications. "Chip will bring his passion for Earth science, strong leadership skills, and his enthusiastic spirit to leading our activities in Huntsville and developing future opportunities to work with NASA and other agencies on the challenges we face in fully understanding the Earth system," said Dr. Tarantino.

In addition to his research experience, Dr. Laymon's work has also included technology development, systems engineering, and project management. "I believe the breadth of my experience in the physical sciences, technology development and project leadership will be invaluable to energizing the excellent research we perform in Huntsville, capturing new opportunities, and moving the Institute forward consistent with USRA's overall direction" said Dr. Laymon. Laymon worked as a hydrologist and remote sensing scientist with USRA at the Global Hydrology and Climate Center established in 2003 and later folded within the NSSTC. He has participated in many soil moisture remote sensing field experiments that have a direct impact on water management, agricultural practices, and weather forecasting accuracy. Dr. Laymon also lead a team that developed an airborne microwave radiometer for soil moisture remote sensing that has successfully completed 60 flight hours.

In collaboration with NASA and the University of Alabama, Huntsville, USRA's efforts under the NSSTC Cooperative Agreement are multi-disciplinary in scope - incorporating Earth science, space science, new technology studies, and educational outreach activities. In addition to research in air quality, public health, water management, energy management and ecological forecasting, current Earth science research at NSSTC include global hydrological cycles, soil moisture science, lightning studies, and remote sensing. Space science studies include gamma-ray astronomy, X-Ray astronomy, cosmic ray physics, solar physics and space physics. New technology research efforts include remote sensing instrument development in several areas of both Earth and Space Science.

Founded in 1969, USRA is an independent research corporation with competencies that span space, Earth, and life sciences related disciplines, which are closely aligned with the nation's science and national security agencies. As a non-profit corporation with 105 major research university members, USRA's scientific and technical staff collaborate with over 400 universities annually. This depth of reach into the research community provides a unique platform for advancing science and technology.