Claire Parkinson


Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

claire.l.parkinson [at]


Cryospheric Sciences Lab/Code 615
Greenbelt, MD 20771
United States

Brief Biography

Claire Parkinson is a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where she has worked since 1978. Her research is focused largely on sea ice and climate change and has involved computer modeling, Arctic and Antarctic fieldwork, and especially satellite data analysis. She has used satellite data to reveal and quantify the decreases in Arctic sea ice and increases in Antarctic sea ice since the late 1970s. In addition to her sea ice work, since 1993 she has also been the Project Scientist for NASA’s Earth-observing Aqua satellite, which has been collecting data about the Earth’s atmosphere, ocean, ice, and land since its launch in 2002. Claire has written books on satellite Earth observations, climate change, and the history of science, and has co-written and co-edited books on sea ice, climate modeling, satellite data, and the careers of women at Goddard. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and Phi Beta Kappa and is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society. She has a B.A. in mathematics from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in climatology from Ohio State University.

Science Specialties

sea ice, remote sensing, climate change

Current Research

Satellite remote sensing of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice. Time series analyses of Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents. Sea ice and climate change.