Bill Teng Candidate Statement 2021

From Federation of Earth Science Information Partners

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Bill Teng, Adnet Systems Inc/NASA GES DISC, Candidate for Governance Committee Chair

Statement of Interest: I am an ESIP member (AgDSS) affiliated with the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). I have served on the ESIP Finance Committee (Ficom), including as past Chair (~2016-2017). I would be honored to continue that service as Chair of the Governance Committee. I have actively participated in and contributed to ESIP almost since its beginning. In 2013, I initiated the Agriculture & Climate Cluster and has since been its Co-Chair.

Both Ficom and Governance are administrative committees. As with all such committees, they are functioning at their best when they are in the background—though transparent—from the perspective of the ESIP membership that they serve. Though ideally in the background, these committees are critical in providing the structural support for the optimal functioning of ESIP. To achieve the latter, the processes and procedures that underlie the day-to-day workings of ESIP need to be clear, up-to-date, consistent, and, ultimately, reflective of the values of the ESIP leadership and membership. This was what the members of Ficom had aimed to do, during the two years that I was Chair; and the current Ficom has ably continued that work. Similarly, the current Governance Committee, of which I am a member, is systematically reviewing existing documents, to update, clarify, and resolve inconsistencies.

An additional benefit that accrue from a more formalized set of processes and procedures is by providing a form of institutional memory, as these volunteer-committees transition from year to year. My continuing on with the Governance Committee as Chair would add to that memory and provide an additional measure of continuity.

My academic background and career are both multidisciplinary, which is well-aligned with ESIP’s diverse membership. The NASA GES DISC (and NASA DAACs in general), being at the intersection of science, technology, and outreach/user services, is arguably the ideal breeding ground for ESIP members (😊). My work at the GES DISC for the past 20+ years is obviously well-aligned with ESIP’s data matter. Further, the GES DISC environment requires the ability to work with others of diverse backgrounds as a team, which I had successfully done as its Science Group Lead for some 14 years (on the contractor side). I believe that is one of the reasons I have been able to successfully contribute to ESIP. Conversely, I have always returned from ESIP meetings more informed, more connected--and, in some cases, more funded. My current work at the GES DISC is focused on the use of social media data and machine learning to potentially augment the validation of NASA satellite mission data.

I believe my multidisciplinary background and experience would continue to bring value to the Governance Committee and to ESIP in general. I look forward to the opportunity to do so.

Bio: Dr. Teng is a Principal Scientist at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC). He led its Science Support Group (contractors) for over 14 years. In coordination with NASA customers, he provides end-to-end, value-added support for NASA mission data sets and associated analysis tools. He specializes in managing large-scale science data systems and user-focused science support. He led the development of the Precipitation DISC and Hydrology DISC, and of one of the earliest Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)-compliant Web geographic information systems (GIS). He has led projects to integrate NASA precipitation, soil moisture, and other hydrological data into operational decision support environments of USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA World Agricultural Outlook Board, NOAA National Weather Service, and U.N. World Food Program, as well as the Hydrologic Information System and HydroShare of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. (CUAHSI). Dr. Teng was Principal Investigator for two highly successful “data rods” (time series) projects, funded by the NASA ROSES ACCESS Program. Data rods services were infused into, and are operational at, the GES DISC, serving CUAHSI, HydroShare, and hydrology user communities in over 60 countries. Dr. Teng has received four GSFC and one NASA Group Achievement Awards for exceptional customer service. His research experience includes active and passive microwave remote sensing of soil moisture, vegetation, and other terrain characteristics. Dr. Teng earned his Ph.D. from Cornell University in Civil and Environmental Engineering.