Padma A. Yanamandra-Fisher

Senior Research Scientist
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Padma studies the nature of light scattering in various media pertaining to the solar system. Her current research focusses on seasonal and temporal changes on Jupiter and Saturn and understanding the thermophysical properties of solar system ices, including observations and models. Her observational program involves acquisition of data from various facilities such as NASA/IRTF, NOAJ/Subaru and ESO/VLT. Various modeling efforts include radiative transfer methods and statistical approaches to multi-dimensional multi-spectral data sets. Complemtary to active research, Padma also participates in various education/outreach efforts (informal education, mentoring of students, organizing outreach sessions at scientific meetings and reviewer of NASA education products). Padma has expanded her research to include polarimetry in remote sensing of planetary systems, exoplanetary atmospheres and integration of social media in her outreach efforts. Padma is also a strong advocate for rejuventating polarimetry and is a regular convener of similar sessions at vaious domestic and international meetings (AGU, AOGS, EPSC, etc.) She is currently involved with the NASA Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC) both as a science team member and the Administrator for the Facebook group, CIOC_ISON, to leverage social media in scientific research, including Pinterest, which was acknowledged in Sky and Telescope magazine (August 2013).

Padma received her Ph.D. from University of Denver, with her thesis addressing particle size distribution in Saturn's and Uranus' rings, using Voyager 2 data. She did her Post-Doc at JPL during the Voyager 2 - Neptune encounter and joined the Earth and Planetary Atmospehres group at JPL as a Research Scientist. She developed a ground-based observing program of Saturn's rings to model their thermal behavious between Voyager and Cassini epochs. Her extra-curricular activities involve travel (a favorite destination is Hawaii); gardening; wine-making and enjoying friends.