TERC Senior Scientist Tamara Ledley Receives ESIP Federation’s Presidents Award

January 18, 2012



CAMBRIDGE, MA– The Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) has honored TERC Senior Scientist Tamara Ledley with the Presidents Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the organization over its 13-year history. Dr. Ledley collaborated on one of a group of 1998 NASA grants that resulted in the formation of the ESIP Federation, and has served as Vice President for the ESIP Federation, chair of the Standing Committee for Education, and member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation of Earth Science. Additionally, collaborations initiated in the ESIP Federation Education Committee informed and refined Dr. Ledley’s work on the Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET), which was recently awarded the SPORE Award from Science Magazine.

"Much of my work has been to bridge the scientific and educational communities to make Earth science data and knowledge more accessible and integrated into educational contexts," says Dr. Ledley. "Through my work as a small partner on one of the original ESIP Federation projects funded by NASA in 1998, I found a scientific and technical community whose mission was to facilitate the use of Earth science data and knowledge to address societal needs. With an organization having a mission so aligned with my own interests, I worked to build the science and technology education presence and activities at the ESIP Federation. This included having TERC become one of the first partners after the originally funded 24 projects (there are now over 130 partners) and establishing the Standing Committee on Education," adds Dr. Ledley. She notes, "This community has provided me with amazing partnerships and support. I am honored to be recognized with this award."

Dr. Ledley is a senior scientist and chair of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) at TERC. Her most recent work in Climate Literacy and Earth system science education includes founding and chairing the Climate Literacy Network ; development of the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Pathway; collaboration on “Essential Principles of Climate Science”; and the development of EarthLabs modules on climate change and Earth system science that will serve as the laboratory component of a high-school capstone course in Earth and space science for the NSF-funded Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy and NASA-funded Earth System Science: A Key to Climate Literacy projects.

Dr. Ledley has also been involved in a spectrum of projects that focus on the use of Earth science data in educational contexts and leverage the National Science Digital Library efforts. These grants have entailed the development of the Earth Exploration Toolbook (EET), an online resource that provides step-by-step instructions for the use of an Earth science data set and data analysis tool by teachers in the classroom, as well as the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) Data Services and AccessData—projects that focused on bridging the communication gap between scientific and educational communities to make Earth science data sets accessible and available to teachers and students.

Dr. Ledley received her PhD from MIT in 1983 and conducted a research program on understanding the mechanism of climate change. Her early work in Earth system science education included museum and planetarium exhibit development work; activity, curriculum, and content development; and teacher training programming.

About the ESIP Federation

Founded in 1998 by NASA in response to a National Research Council (NRC) review of the Earth Observation System Data and Information System (EOSDIS), ESIP was developed as an Earth science community for the preservation, location, and access of Earth science observation and research data by a broad community encompassing research, education, and commercial interests. In 2001, ESIP created a nonprofit corporation called the Foundation for Earth Science.
Today, ESIP has over 130 partners and functions as a broad-based, distributed community of data and information technology practitioners who come together to collaborate on coordinated interoperability efforts across Earth science communities. Recently, new ESIP Federation subcommunities have formed around data preservation and stewardship, information quality, and data visualization. Additional education and societal benefit actives arose in the climate change and energy domains.