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April 20, 2021

Alum Walt Petersen named Marshall Space Flight Center division chief

Alumnus Walt Petersen (M.S., ’92; Ph.D., ’97) has been named the Science Research and Projects Division Chief within the Science and Technology Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Petersen will begin his new role May 9, managing MSFC’s Earth, Astrophysics, Heliophysics, and Planetary Science portfolio, partnerships, workforce and the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility.

Petersen has more than six years of supervisory and organizational leadership experience at two NASA centers, as well as significant science leadership and collaboration experience. His career began when he served as an aerographer’s mate in the U.S. Navy, and then a meteorological technician, before pursuing a degree in mathematics at Southern Utah University and advanced degrees at Colorado State University in atmospheric science.

Petersen joined Marshall Space Flight Center in 2008 as an Earth scientist. In 2011, he transferred to the Goddard Space Flight Center’s Wallops Flight Facility, where he served as the GSFC field support office branch chief, responsible for leading a successful NASA Earth Science research program in atmospheric and oceanic remote sensing. In 2015, he returned to MSFC, serving in many roles including as a deputy project scientist for the NASA-JAXA Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. Petersen became deputy division chief of the Science Research and Projects Division in June 2019. He also was named a fellow of the American Meteorological Society in January 2021. 

Photo credit: NASA