15:04 PM

USRA Visual Communications Team Garners Top Internet Award

Columbia, MD – May 27, 2020. Members of USRA’s Visual Communications Group supporting NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center were awarded the prestigious “Webby Award,” which is regarded as the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. It is presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judging body composed of over two thousand industry experts and technology innovators. According to The New York Times, it is the Internet’s highest honor.

The team received the award for the first season of NASA Explorers—a digital video series, produced in large part by USRA/GESTAR team members at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The series is currently in its fourth season. The first season focused on the amazing work done by cryospheric scientists at NASA and their university partners as they study our planet's ice. The season received more than 1.5 million views. USRA's Lauren Ward is the executive producer of the series. Other USRA contributors included Katy Mersmann, who led the social strategy, and producers Ryan Fitzgibbons and Jefferson Beck, who created multiple videos in the eleven episodes of the season. USRA’s Adriana Manrique Gutierrez contributed several conceptual animations and graphical elements to the series, and GST/GESTAR’s Cynthia Starr contributed data visualizations.

Composite image of the visual communications team. From left to right:Lauren Ward, Jefferson Beck, Katy Mersmann, and Ryan Fitzgibbons

The specific award was in the category of Education & Discovery (Series & Campaigns) for social media content advocating education and discovery of science, history, animals/wildlife, and the environment. Other nominees and honorees included “Revealing a Black Hole” from Harvard Public Affairs and Communications; “Apollo Moon Landing Anniversary Campaign” from National Geographic, and “Smithsonian’s “DeepTime Fossil Hall Opening.”


About USRA

Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences at the request of the U.S. Government, the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is a nonprofit corporation chartered to advance space-related science, technology and engineering. USRA operates scientific institutes and facilities, and conducts other major research and educational programs, under Federal funding. USRA engages the university community and employs in-house scientific leadership, innovative research and development, and project management expertise. More information about USRA is available at www.usra.edu.