UMBC Watch

“We congratulate Robert Schiffer on this distinguished honor. His association with the GEST Center reflects UMBC’s leadership in environmental research.”

— President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III


UMBC Atmospheric Scientist Receives NASA's Top Award

November 21, 2002 - Robert A. Schiffer, chief scientist at UMBC’s Goddard Earth Sciences & Technology (GEST) Center, has been awarded NASA’s highest honor, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, for contributions to research on the global environment and service to the Office of Earth Science.

Schiffer joined the GEST Center after a 27-year career with NASA, where he was deputy director of research in earth science. As chief scientist, Schiffer will develop the GEST Center’s research goals and strategic plans.

“I am happy to come to UMBC and work with so many talented individuals,” says Schiffer. “I hope to expand UMBC’s national and international involvement on climate and global climate change research.”

The GEST Center currently employs more than 100 research scientists in earth and information sciences. The Center also sponsors visiting research fellows and summer internship programs for graduate students.

The GEST Center, established in 2000 through a cooperative agreement between NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and UMBC, promotes excellence in earth science research. This $70-million partnership with NASA places UMBC among the top 20 institutions in NASA funding nationwide. Joining UMBC in the GEST initiative is a consortium that includes Hampton University, Howard University, Caelum Research Corporation, and Northrop Grumman. For more information, visit the GEST Center Web site at

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