Personnel News: January 2022 Archives

Caltech Names Laurie Leshin Director of JPL

"The distinguished geochemist and space scientist brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in academic and government service to JPL. Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been appointed director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and vice president of Caltech. Leshin will formally assume her position on May 16, 2022."

NASA JPL Memo: Bobby Braun Departing JPL

"Bobby Braun, Director for Planetary Science and Bren Professor of Aerospace at Caltech, has accepted the position of Space Exploration Sector Head of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and will be leaving JPL at the end of March 2022. Even as I am sad that the Lab is losing a great leader, I would like to congratulate Bobby on his new role and expect that we will be crossing paths in a number of ways in the future."

Applied Physics Laboratory Memo: Appointment of Space Exploration Sector Head, JHU APL

"Bobby will be succeeding Mike Ryschkewitsch, who announced in October his intention to retire. As I indicated then, Mike led SES during a pivotal time, and we are deeply appreciative of his outstanding leadership and many impressive contributions to the Laboratory and our nation."

John Charles

Keith's note: John Charles has died. I'll post more information when I get it. I first met John in 1987 during what was the first week or two working for NASA when I made a trip to JSC. He was such a nice man. No one believed more in NASA than John did. According to a note circulating around NASA: "The life sciences directorate at JSC is coordinating a flag-raising at Mission Control and fundraising for a memorial tree. [it] would be great to fund a couple of aerospace physiology graduate school scholarships in his name."

Ad Astra, John.

Keith's update: The following note has been circulating at NASA: "Space Medicine Association, which is an AsMA constituent organization of which John is a past president, is setting up a John Charles scholarship. For people who would like to donate to the scholarship fund, here is the information:

Here is how people can donate:
- go to
- click on "Ways to give"
- click on the Donate button
- enter amount and other information as requested
- in the notes section write " in memory of Dr. John Charles" or "SMA Dr. John B Charles Scholarship Fund"

Note: The Foundation is a 501c3 charitable organization so donations are tax deductible. We will direct all donations to the SMA fund within the Foundation. The Space Medicine Association will create the Scholarship and will include Kathy Charles in the development of the details."

Donald Gurnett

Legendary Iowa space physicist Donald Gurnett dies

"Donald Gurnett, a pioneering space scientist whose career as a student, teacher, and researcher at the University of Iowa spanned more than 60 years, died on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. He was 81. When he retired in May 2019, Gurnett pointed to a litany of accomplishments that few--if any--will be able to match: He earned his undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees from Iowa, just when space exploration began; he is considered by many the founder of the field of space plasma wave physics; his discoveries include solving how auroras are created, the first detailed measure of radio emissions from the outer planets, and informing humankind of the first spacecraft to leave the solar system and reach the realm among the stars."

NASA Announces Katherine Calvin As New NASA Chief Scientist And Senior Climate Advisor

"NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced that Dr. Katherine Calvin will serve the agency in dual roles as chief scientist and senior climate advisor effective Monday. Calvin succeeds Jim Green, who retired from his role Jan. 1 as chief scientist after more than 40 years of service at NASA, and Gavin Schmidt, who has served as senior climate advisor in an acting capacity since the position was created in February 2021. NASA established the senior climate advisor position to ensure effective fulfillment of the Biden-Harris Administration's climate science objectives for the agency. Schmidt will maintain his role as director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Personnel News category from January 2022.

Personnel News: December 2021 is the previous archive.

Personnel News: March 2022 is the next archive.

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