Meet the team
Aimee Barciauskas is a data engineer. She leads the Earth Data Infrastructure team at Development Seed which works with organizations such as NASA and ESA to make vast collections of Earth Observation data cloud-friendly to end-users such as researchers and decision makers. Previously Aimee worked as an engineer at Nava PBC developing Healthcare.gov and Medicare's Quality Payments Program (QPP). Aimee cares deeply about using data, data science and machine learning to drive positive social change. She’s a chapter leader of DataKind DC, where she volunteers on projects ranging from a program referral portal for DC’s Child and Family Services Agency to analytics tools for open-air quality.
John Pring has been Senior Project Manager within the Environmental Geoscience Division of Geoscience Australia for some 10 years and has run a number of projects associated with the management of the agencies data and physical collections over that time.
John is a keen proponent of the appropriate use of citizen science and actively works to raise the profile of citizen science within Geoscience Australia and wider both as a practitioner and a participant.
John holds a Masters of Management Studies (Project Management/Technology and Equipment) from the University of New South Wales and an Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of Southern Queensland.
Diana Mastracci is a researcher at the University of Oxford passionate about finding creative ways to maximize the impact of current technologies to empower social change initiatives among indigenous communities. She has co-designed, together with the Arctic youth, Elders and scientists’ various innovative hackathons and citizen science projects at the interface of traditional and scientific knowledge. She has conducted fieldwork amongst the Iñupiat community in the Alaskan Arctic as well as with the Nenets reindeer herders in the Russian Arctic.
She has worked at the European Space Agency, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of Oxford, Citizen Cyberlab, was a visiting scholar at the Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University and a visiting student at St. Petersburg State University. Diana holds an MA with joint Honours in Social Anthropology and Russian from the University of St Andrews, an MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford and a Diploma in Documentary Filmmaking from the EICTV in Cuba.
Gordon Ikayuak Brower, a lifelong Arctic resident, is an Inupiaq Subsistence Whaling Captain. He has been working in the Planning Department of the North Slope Borough for 24 years where he is currently the Director of Planning. Gordon is also Chairman of the NS Port Authority, Chairman of Region 10, a local fisherman, a mitigation advisory Committee Chairman and has been a member for over 20 years of the Federal Subsistence Advisory Council. Additionally, he has also served as the permitting and zoning manager from 1999-2004. He has six children and lives in Utqiaġvik, Alaska with his partner Sharon Miller.
Tom Thornton is Dean of Arts & Sciences and Vice-Provost for Research & Sponsored Programs at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). He first came to Alaska in 1989 as an intern, and later worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Subsistence, as a Resources Specialist, before joining the Faculty of Social Sciences at UAS in 1994. From 2008-18, he was Director of the Environmental Change and Management MSc/MPhil program at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute in the School of Geography and the Environment in the UK, where he still holds a position as Senior Research Fellow. His research and publications focus especially on the peoples, lands, and waters of Southeast Alaska and the North Pacific.
Christian Langer is a full-stack developer. He works as IT Officer for the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), which is hosted by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany. He is mainly responsible for the development of the technical infrastructure and web applications of GEO BON. He is actively involved in building the EBV Data Portal and is the main author of the EBV Metadata Standard.
Christian has been working as a GEO BON focal point for GEOSS for several years. He loves writing code in his free time. Instead of working on another app that no one needs, he would like to volunteer his talent to do some good in this world. Together with his colleague Joakim Adrup (ESA) he won the 1st prize at the GEOSS Hack 2018 for "Madagascar Fire", a web-app which allows local patrols to quickly and easily report and track wild fires in Madagascar.
Paola De Salvo, Italian National, after receiving her Master’s degree in Environmental Biology cum laude, from the University of Roma Tre, Rome Italy, she started her Geospatial career within the International Institute of Aerospace Survey and Earth Science (ITC) in the Netherlands.
She later brought her GIS and Remote Sensing competencies to the United Nations Specialized Agencies of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure Earth Observations are used for decision making in developing countries.
She has been instrumental in establishing and training local staff in Web-based Spatial Data Infrastructures in order to increase timely data discoverability and accessibility.
After 12 years of applying her skills within the UN System, she transitioned to the private sector where she worked for Esri Inc, as a solution engineer in support of United Nations and NGO GIS / Remote Sensing related projects.
Believing in the power of Open Earth Observations Data and Information she joined the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Secretariat as an Information Technology Officer coordinating GEOSS Platform (GEOSS Common Infrastructure) Operations. She works closely with National Research Council (CNR) and particularly with CNR - IIA, and European Space Agency (ESA) to ensure discovery and access of GEO Resources.
Sanjay Pyareis a Professor of Environmental Sciences and Geography at the University of Alaska in Juneau, Alaska, since 2005. He holds a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada Reno. His 5-month Fulbright research scholarship starting from December 2018 – “Migratory seabird research in coastal Indonesia” is hosted by Udayana University, Denpasar. He will investigate the Aleutian tern and its remarkable migration between Indonesia and Alaska, as well as study the role of coastal Indonesia ecosystems in seabird-migration patterns globally.
At a broader level, he seeks to use the science and the story of the Aleutian tern as a flagship to increase avenues for transboundary cooperation and increase the capacity of Indonesians to engage in science. But, he says “in the end, my Fulbright is fundamentally not really about scientific research or even the plight of the ocean environment and seabirds: the Aleutian tern is simply a global messenger about what two far flung cultures and two wild places of the earth have in common. This is about building a bridge for the next generation, starting with my UAS students here in Alaska and those at Udayana University, to think big and think forward.”
Gautam Dadhich is a PhD scholar, working on applications of remote sensing and GIS for sustainable development goals of UN. Using his skills in Geomatics, he is working to analyze crop loss due to flood using earth observation satellite data to settle crop insurance claims. He has previously worked on development of decision support system for land evaluation and crop land suitability analysis using FAO framework using geospatial tools and multi-criteria decision making methods. He worked on both types of data viz. optical and radar data for various other applications like soil moisture estimation, vegetation cover mapping, change detection and disaster management. he is also currently founding member of start ups "BlueWatch: Spatial Aquaculture Advisory System" which is solving disease outbreak related issues using EO and GNSS data for local seafood industry. He worked about 2.5 + years in academia and 4+ years as researcher.