Bob Pappalardo

Bob Pappalardo at Venice Beach, California. Credit: Dan Goods/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Meet Our Ocean Explorers

Bob Pappalardo is the Project Scientist for the Europa Clipper, NASA's upcoming mission to investigate the habitability of Jupiter's icy moon Europa. This month, as part of World Ocean Month, we introduce you to Bob, and our many explorers studying the oceans on Earth, throughout our solar system, and beyond.

Meet Bob Pappalardo


Josh Willis: Oceanographer

Josh Willis
Josh Willis prepares to deploy an ocean probe in Greenland. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

"I fell in love with the ocean and with the idea of doing science about climate change and how the planet's climate is now being impacted by human activity. It took me falling out of physics to figure out what I was really passionate about, and it turned out it was climate change."

Meet Josh Willis


Tribute to a Trailblazer

Michael Freilich
Michael Freilich speaks at NASA's Earth Day event on April 20, 2017, at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Michael Freilich had a passion for the ocean. He was director of the Earth Science Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters from 2006 until his retirement in February 2019. Mike helped drive the evolution of NASA Earth science from a program that launched an Earth-observing space mission every few years to one that launches several missions each year. Mike died Aug. 5, 2020, of pancreatic cancer. NASA and its partners have renamed a new ocean observation satellite in his honor – it will now be known as Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich.

Our Tribute to Michael Freilich