Earth  ID: 13554

NASA Explorers | Season One: Cryosphere

NASA Explorers is a digital series that takes viewers inside the agency for a close-up look at the scientists, engineers, pioneers & experts at the front lines of exploration. The series connects the seemingly disparate parts of NASA – from aeronautics, to science, to human spaceflight – by conveying a common drive to explore new frontiers, overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, and push humanity toward a better future.

For our inaugural season, we headed to Earth's cryosphere to cover researchers who frequent the most extreme environments on this planet in a quest of exploration: to understand our Earth, how it is changing, and how that change affects all of us.

NASA Explorers Season 1 was produced, edited, directed, narrated, and disseminated by a core team at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA on behalf of NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Episode One: The Big Thaw
The Cryosphere is a place we all depend on, but many of us will never go to. As temperatures rise, the frozen regions of Earth are changing rapidly. NASA scientists are locked in a race against time to understand our shifting climate and how it affects life on Earth.

Episode Two: The Snow Below
Snow is one part of the cryosphere that many of us have actually encountered, but it also plays a crucial role in regulating Earth’s climate. Through decades of remote sensing, NASA has kept a close eye on the ebb and flow of snow cover. NASA Explorers also venture into the field at the far reaches of Earth to study snow, a critical resource for the millions of people who rely on it for drinking water.

Episode Three: Ice Odyssey
To know the evolution of sea ice and how we observe it from space is to know Dr. Claire Parkinson. Meet the scientist who continues to have a profound effect on the study of climate change through her work monitoring the health of global sea ice.

Episode Four: Glacial Pace
NASA Explorers study Earth's glaciers and ice sheets more than almost any other part of the cryosphere. As they melt and change, glaciers and ice sheets dramatically affect sea level rise and the climate system as a whole, creating an urgency to understand and forecast their behavior.

Episode Five: Frozen World
You have to start somewhere when looking for life away from Earth. Many NASA Explorers look for places with water ice, including distant moons like Enceladus and Europa. This week, we’re traveling away from our home planet to investigate ice in the solar system.

Episode Six: High Mountain Glaciers
They’re rivers of ice, slowly flowing down the sides of mountains, and they currently have an outsized role in sea level rise. This week, NASA Explorers are taking us high into the mountains of Alaska, Patagonia, Asia and elsewhere for a closer look at mountain glaciers.

Episode Seven: Permafrost
This episode, NASA Explorers head back in time…by going underground. In the Arctic, a frozen layer of soil – permafrost – trapped dead plants and animals for thousands of years. As the climate warms, that soil is beginning to thaw, releasing carbon dioxide and methane.

Episode Eight: The Launch
It’s 5 a.m. on a normal September day and NASA Explorers have gathered in a California field to watch a rocket launch light up the pre-dawn sky. On board the rocket is a satellite more than 10 years in the making, with one single instrument that will revolutionize the study of ice on Earth. Join the team in the excitement and stress of watching ICESat-2 launch into space and begin its work measuring our home planet.

Episode Nine: Final Approach
In the pre-dawn hours of a late October day, a satellite and an airplane joined forces over the frigid Weddell Sea, taking simultaneous measurements of drifting sea ice. It was the culmination of more than a decade of planning, designing and building the best way to measure Earth's changing ice. NASA Explorers are constantly pushing the limit to learn more about our world and those far beyond. Join in as they celebrate a milestone in the quest to better understand the planet we call home.

Bonus Episode: Cryo Kids
NASA Explorers come in all ages! In this week’s bonus episode, we headed back to Alaska to check in with some of our tiniest Explorers. They’re following in the scientists’ footsteps, working with NASA’s GLOBE program to measure when and where snow and ice are freezing. Plus, stick around for a thank you message from our scientists to the young Explorers collecting their data.

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LK Ward (USRA): Lead Producer
Patrick Lynch (NASA/GSFC): Lead Producer
Kathryn Mersmann (USRA): Lead Producer
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Producer
Ryan Fitzgibbons (USRA): Producer
John Caldwell (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.): Videographer
Rob Andreoli (Advocates in Manpower Management, Inc.): Videographer
Jefferson Beck (USRA): Videographer
Ryan Fitzgibbons (USRA): Videographer
Kathryn Mersmann (USRA): Videographer
Kate Ramsayer (Telophase): Videographer
LK Ward (USRA): Videographer
Walt Feimer (KBR Wyle Services, LLC): Lead Animator
Adriana Manrique Gutierrez (USRA): Animator
Bailee DesRocher (USRA): Animator
Alex Kekesi (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Visualizer
Cindy Starr (Global Science and Technology, Inc.): Visualizer
Kel Elkins (USRA): Visualizer
Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Visualizer
Tom Wagner (NASA): Scientist
Edward Kim (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Batuhan Osmanoglu (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Quenton Bonds (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Dorothy Hall (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Claire Parkinson (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Josh Willis (JPL): Scientist
Kelly Brunt (Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center/University of Maryland): Scientist
Morgan Cable (JPL): Scientist
Alex S. Gardner (NASA/JPL CalTech): Scientist
Chris Larsen (University of Alaska Fairbanks): Scientist
Peter Griffith: Scientist
Thomas A. Neumann Ph.D. (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Thorsten Markus (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Brooke Medley (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.): Technical Support
Sophie Nowicki (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Narrated Movies

DLESE >> Cryology
SVS >> Ice
SVS >> Sea Ice
SVS >> Snow Cover
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Cryosphere >> Glaciers/Ice Sheets
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Agriculture >> Soils >> Permafrost
GCMD >> Location >> Greenland
SVS >> Climate Change
SVS >> Operation IceBridge
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> ICESat-2

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version