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Waleed Abdalati is Director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado and a Professor in the university’s Department of Geography. CIRES, established through a cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is a diverse institute that focuses on understanding the Earth System and its components, as well as the human relationship with our environment. His research interests are in the use of satellite and airborne remote sensing techniques, integrated with in situ observations and modeling, to understand how and why the Earth's glaciers and ice sheets are changing and the implications for sea level rise. This work has taken him to the Arctic, the Antarctic and the Patagonian Ice Fields ten times. Before joining CIRES in 2008, Dr. Abdalati held various positions at NASA in the areas of scientific research, program management, scientific management, mission science oversight, etc. In 2011 and 2012, he served as NASA Chief Scientist, acting as advisor on agency science matters to the NASA Administrator and NASA leadership, and working with the White House and Congress on matters related to the NASA Science portfolio. Earlier in his career, he worked as an engineer in the aerospace industry. His technical and scientific expertise is complemented by considerable experience communicating with the public, the media, and NASA sponsors and stakeholders. Dr. Abdalati received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University in 1986, a M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Colorado in 1991 and 1996 respectively. Dr. Abdalati has received over a dozen professional awards from the White House, NASA, NSF and The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.