NOAA -- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)


Our Mission

Here at the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) we provide secure and timely access to global environmental data and information from satellites and other sources to promote and protect the Nation's security, environment, economy, and quality of life.

2016 National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) Strategic Plan

NOAA Directory -- Click here to look for someone at NOAA Satellite

Photo of Dr. Stephen Volz -- the Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services

Stephen Volz  

Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services

Dr. Volz has more than 30 years of professional experience in aerospace. As the head of NESDIS, he sets the strategic vision and implementation objectives for the Nation’s civilian operational earth observing satellite fleet. Within NOAA he serves as the Co-Chair of the NOAA Observing Systems Council and is a member of the NOAA Executive Council. He is a leader in the international Earth observation community, serving as the NOAA Principal to the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and to the Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS). He has also served as the NOAA and US Principal to the Executive Committee (ExCom) of the international Group on Earth Observations (GEO). In each of these roles Dr. Volz leads efforts to coordinate global satellite-based observations among international space agency partners and interested users of remote sensing earth observation data to further the development of a Global Earth Observation System of Systems, and to meet the global weather and environmental monitoring and forecasting efforts.

Prior to coming to NOAA, Dr. Volz worked at NASA Headquarters in the Earth Science Division, and at the Goddard Space Flight Center in satellite design, development, test and operations, including work on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), among others. Dr. Volz worked in industry at Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation from 1997–2002, where he was the Project Manager for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility superfluid helium cryostat and other flight projects.

Dr. Volz has doctorate and master degrees in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor’s in Physics from the University of Virginia.

"At NESDIS, we must operate the satellite constellation and ground systems with the continued high-reliability, secure and timely delivery of data and services that the Nation requires." -- Dr. Stephen Volz / NESDIS Administrator

Download Dr. Stephen Volz Bio (PDF)


Leadership Presentations

Mark S. Paese  

Deputy Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services 

Mark Paese serves as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services. In this capacity, he provides day-to-day oversight of the activities of NESDIS' satellite operations, data processing, product and service delivery and research functions. He also has oversight responsibilities of the NESDIS budget planning and administration.

Mark previously served as the Director of the Office of Operational Systems for NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of NWS systems, providing systems engineering, software management, facilities, communications, configuration management and logistical services. He was also responsible for policy development, implementation, operations, support and evaluation of operational weather systems. Mark has 30 years of experience in all facets of weather, communications and aviation, including 12 years in private industry. He has broad experience in leading science-based service organizations, introducing change, and using and implementing technology and science.

Previously, Mark held senior positions at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, and prior to that with Westinghouse Electric Corporation. While in the private sector, he was responsible for systems engineering, operations and maintenance, acquisition, program management, strategic planning and business development.

Mark has also served as the Executive Director of the White House Task Force on Effective Warnings. His efforts resulted in the President signing the Executive Order 13407: Public Alert and Warning Systems. Mark also served on the FCC's Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee - charged with examining existing and planned disaster warning systems - resulting in today's Wireless Emergency Alert capability.

Download Mark Paese Bio (PDF)

Dr. Karen St. Germain 

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Systems

Dr. Karen St. Germain is the Deputy Assistant Administrator, Systems (DAAS), for NOAA's Satellite and Information Service. She guides the ongoing development and deployment of NOAA's two major satellite programs (the Joint Polar Satellite System and Geostationary Operational Environment Satellite – R series), the COSMIC-2 mission, and the Space Weather Follow-On. She also leads the development of the next-generation capabilities that will replenish and augment these systems in the future.

Prior to becoming the DAAS, Dr. St. Germain served as the Director of the Office of Systems Architecture and Advanced Planning (OSAAP) where she led enterprise-level mission architecture development and systems engineering to enable NESDIS to become a flexible, stable and responsive civil space agency in support of NOAA's mission. Dr. St. Germain is a leader in enterprise-level planning and multi-organizational programs of national significance. She is also an expert in major systems acquisition, with particular proficiency in transitioning new technology into operational systems.

Dr. St. Germain developed a deep understanding of the NESDIS mission as NOAA's lead for all aspects of system performance during the development of the successful Suomi-NPP system, from 2006 to 2011. In 2011, Dr. St. Germain accepted a position in the Space, Strategic and Intelligence Systems (SSI) Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OUSD AT&L). There, she led the DoD 2014 Strategic Portfolio Review for Space, a special assignment task for the Deputy Secretary of Defense to develop a strategy and implementation plan for adapting to evolving challenges in the space domain. Dr. St. Germain also led the Remote Sensing and Prompt Strike Division within SSI, where she was responsible for acquisition shaping and oversight of DoD strategic missile warning and space-based environmental monitoring portfolio, and served as the Program Director of the Conventional Prompt Global Strike Program.

Before joining NOAA, Dr. St. Germain had a successful research career at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Nebraska, and the Naval Research Laboratory. She has performed research aboard ice-breakers in the Arctic and Antarctic, flown through hurricanes and tropical storms on NOAA's P-3 airplanes and measured glacial ice on a snowmobile traverse of the Greenland ice sheet. She also led the modeling and calibration of the WindSat Coriolis mission, the first space-borne radiometer to measure ocean surface wind direction.

Dr. St. Germain holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Union College (1987) and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts (1993). She is also a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College, National Defense University where she earned a Master of Science degree in National Security Strategy in 2013.

Download Karen St. Germain Bio (PDF)

The 2016-17 Independent Review Team report provides expert analysis of how NESDIS has addressed recent challenges and opportunities and its strategic path forward. This marks the third such review we've commissioned since 2012. We welcome you to read the NESDIS overview and the full report.

Read NESDIS Response to Independent Review Team (IRT) Recommendations (PDF)