Asia Oceania Geosciences Society
 
 
AOGS Society E-news 2 (Aug 2020)
 
In Memory of Dr Michael Freilich
 
Dear AOGS Family, Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr Michael Freilich on Wednesday, 05 August 2020. Dr Freilich had been a valuable member of the AOGS community. Dr Freilich was the Director of NASA’s Earth Science Division from 2006 until 2019.
 
In July 2020, AOGS conferred upon Dr Freilich the Wing Ip Medal. The award recognizes unselfish co-operation and leadership in geoscience in the Asia Oceania region. A key criteria for the Wing Ip Medal is demonstration of leadership roles in national and international science activities to promote geosciences. This is an area where Dr Freilich’s contribution to geosciences has been immeasurable. During Dr Freilich’s tenure of the Earth Science Division, NASA accelerated Earth science mission launches. He also led NASA’s response to the National Academy of Sciences’ Earth Science and Applications from Space decadal survey (in 2007). The strategy expanded NASA’s innovative Earth-observing programs and guides the agency’s global Earth observation efforts. Under Dr Freilich’s leadership space-based observation of the Earth has been transformed through the vision to promote innovative missions, the ability to bring together contributions from the global geoscience community and generosity to promote trust in collaborative efforts towards understanding the planet for the benefit of humanity.

AOGS had a particular debt of gratitude to Dr Freilich. Since 2012, the NASA Hyperwall has been a central feature of the conference with numerous eye-catching talks entertaining and informing conference delegates. The contribution of NASA scientists to the paper sessions has steadily increased making a significant impact on the quality of the AOGS conferences which in turn has helped the society to grow in size and reputation. His support, ambition and charisma has been vital to the development of AOGS and it was fitting that, shortly after his retirement, AOGS should recognize this contribution through the Wing Ip Medal.
 
NASA develops new technologies and approaches to observe and study Earth with long-term data records, research, modeling, and computer analysis tools to quantify how our planet is changing. NASA shares this knowledge with the global community, including managers and policymakers domestically and internationally to understand and protect the planet. Having overseen 16 major missions during his time at NASA HQ, Dr Freilich has made enormous contributions to scientific discovery and to promoting cooperation and innovation among the geoscience community.

We will always remember Dr Michael Freilich for his friendship and true deeds.
 
 
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