NASA Picks New Chief Scientist

Glaciologist Waleed Abdalati was named today as NASA's chief scientist, a position that has been vacant since 2005. Abdalati will advise NASA director Charles Bolden and advocate for NASA science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Management and Budget.

NASA continues to suffer from cost overruns on science missions, most recently the James Webb Space Telescope, and faces questions about the future of human space exploration.

Abdalati is no stranger to the agency. He worked there for 12 years as a remote-sensing expert, eventually heading the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. In 2008, Abdalati left to direct a remote-sensing center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He rejoins NASA on 3 January.