A cross-DAAC mentor community creating & teaching resources to help researchers migrate workflows to the cloud

Mentor Cohort Activities


Our immediate activities with the Mentors are:

Mentors Cohort Calls Summaries

We will have Cohort Calls with the DAAC Mentors throughout 2021. Linked below are blank Agendas that are then copied and used for live note-taking.

Mentor Cohort 2021

Aaron Friesz

Aaron Friesz is the Science Coordination Lead at NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). In his role, Aaron provides user needs insights and technical support for archive and distribution, service development, and outreach activities. He develops tutorials, scripts, and presentations that highlight the use of land remote sensing data in analysis workflows. More recently, his work has focused on advocating for the uptake of cloud computing in the land remote sensing community.

Catalina Oaida

Catalina M. Oaida, PhD is an Applied Science System Engineer at NASA’s JPL (and PO.DAAC), combining hydrology and Earth science domain expertise (science researcher by training) with a system engineering perspective. Focus on broadening the user base for NASA Earth observations and remote sensing data in the Cloud, and helping increase discoverability, accessibility and usability of these data for the science research and applications communities, and enabling shorter “time to science”. Reducing those barriers to science when data and services are in the cloud, while recognizing that there is a great diversity in user needs, experiences, domain expertise, access to resources - create and implement a comprehensive plan to ensure as many of these user ‘types’ are supported. Develop science use cases as training examples, leveraging open data and open science (and tools). Learning from others and co-creating.

Jack McNelis

Jack McNelis is a Science Applications Software Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (and the PO.DAAC) with experience leveraging EOS data for rangeland ecosystem monitoring applications. He develops and curates metadata to describe PO.DAAC data holdings, and to better integrate them with data delivery services and end user softwares. He also develops resources for users to be better prepared to implement their analyses in the cloud.

Makhan Virdi

Makhan Virdi is the ASDC DAAC Scientist, experienced in creating geospatial tools and services for science-based analysis, visualization (UI/UX), discovery and distribution of data generated by field/laboratory observations, remote sensing, and model simulation. He is interested in AI/ML for earth science data, multi-sensor data fusion, and data analytics in the cloud. He is excited to be part of the Openscapes community, and is looking forward to learning from peers, and sharing his knowledge and skills with the community to develop and promote data science techniques, best practices, and inter-agency collaborations.

Matt Tisdale

Matt Tisdale is a data scientist working at the NASA Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC). He is interested in improving access to ASDC satellite and airborne data products. He uses ArcGIS, OPeNDAP, Python, and Jupyter notebooks to show users how to obtain and analyze data from ASDC. I am interested in learning more cloud analysis techniques to share with our user base as more and more of our ASDC data products are migrated to the cloud.

Vishal Bagadia

Vishal Bagadia is a data science analyst working on contract at the Atmospheric Science Data Center DAAC, NASA Langley Research Center. His experience in exploring emissions retrievals from satellite missions and guiding science teams during the development of their research products powers his work on addressing data interoperability concerns and being responsive to user’s engagement with the archived data. He is energized in leveraging emerging, free, and open-source technologies to better represent and visualize large datasets, building web applications to meet user’s data transformation and accessibility needs, and ultimately producing sustainable solutions to meet end-user requirements as data moves into the cloud.

Amy Steiker

Amy Steiker is the NSIDC DAAC Data Services Engineer, specializing in the development and management of data education resources, tools, and services for NSIDC DAAC’s growing user community, as well as data transformation service development for NASA EOSDIS. She is excited to join this first Openscapes cohort to work together with our science communities to develop and sustain tooling that supports their data processing workflows as they transition to the Earthdata Cloud.

Past Participants

Cole Krehbiel

Cole Krehbiel is a remote sensing data scientist working as a contractor to NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). He is interested in improving access to geospatial data for diverse user communities. Cole supports missions archived and distributed by the LP DAAC including MODIS, VIIRS, ASTER, ECOSTRESS, and GEDI by creating Python tutorials and data prep scripts and providing workshops and webinars to facilitate community uptake and understanding of those missions.

Paul Moth

Paul Moth is a Data Support Specialist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center Distributed Active Archive Center (NSIDC DAAC). He is part of the User Services team and currently represents MODIS, VIIRS, SMAP, High Mountain Asia, and Nimbus missions at NSIDC DAAC. He is interested in working with early adopters and science team members and gathering feedback that identifies the key operations/steps/workflows that would be most important for creating tutorials and educational materials.