A ecological and environmental casual conversation with Dr. Carlos Del Castillo, oceanographer and Chief of the Ocean Ecology Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center


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Dr. Carlos E. Del Castillo is the Chief of the Ocean Ecology Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He was previously a member of the Senior Professional Staff and Section Supervisor with the Space Department of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. Del Castillo is an Associate Research Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.
Dr. Del Castillo started his career at the University of Puerto Rico studying the effects of oil pollution in tropical marine environments. Later, at the University of South Florida, he became interested in organic carbon biogeochemistry and the carbon cycle. This led him to study biogeochemical and physical processes in the oceans through a combination of remote sensing and field and laboratory experiments. While working at NASA as a researcher, Dr. Del Castillo served as Project Manager at Stennis Space Center, MS, and served twice as Program Scientist at NASA HQ (2004-2005; 2011).
Dr. Del Castillo has chaired NASA and NSF workshops, served in several inter-agency working groups, NASA Senior Reviews for Continuation of Missions, the NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystem Management and Operations Working Group, and three National Research Council panels. Dr. Del Castillo chaired the Science Definition Team for a new NASA satellite mission, PACE, and was elected Chair for the Ocean Optics XXI Conference in Glasgow, Scotland (2012).
Dr. Del Castillo has several well-cited publications, co-edited a book on the application of remote sensing techniques. He is a frequent reviewer for technical journals, and served as associate editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research. Dr. Del Castillo received the William Sackett Prize for Innovation and Excellence in Research from the University of South Florida (1999), the NASA Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2004), and the Emerald Honors Trailblazer Award (2007), and other awards.

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