2022 Articles

Thomas H. Painter – Founder/CEO, Airborne Snow Observatories, Inc.

Say hello to Thomas H. Painter. He is a Founder/CEO of the NASA technology transfer and public benefit corporation Airborne Snow Observatories, Inc. and a Project Scientist at the Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. As a NASA scientist, he was the Principal Investigator of the NASA/JPL Airborne Snow Observatory, an integrated imaging spectrometer and LiDAR system to give the first-ever comprehensive, near real-time maps of snow water equivalent and snow reflectivity in mountain basins. Dr. Painter has pioneered our understanding of the impacts of dust emission from land use change on snow and ice cover in mountain systems and the hydrologic response and impacts of black carbon on regional glaciation in the Anthropocene. He has developed cutting edge remote sensing and field models for snow properties from multispectral to imaging spectrometer sensors, scanning lidar systems, and radar systems. In 2018, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal and the Bureau of Reclamation’s John W. Keys III Award. In 2019, he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.