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Michel M. Verstraete
Chief Scientist, South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Earth Observation

Michel M. Verstraete - Chief Scientist, South African National Space Agency (SANSA) Earth Observation
Contact Info:
Enterprise Building
Innovation Hub
Mark Shuttleworth Street
Pretoria, Gauteng, 0087
Republic of South Africa
Phone: +27 12 844 0425

Michel M. Verstraete received his 'License en Physique' (1974) from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, his 'License Spéciale en Géophysique' (1976) from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and both his M.Sc. in Meteorology (1978) and D.Sc. in Atmospheric Sciences (1985) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. He worked for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and Nairobi, Kenya from 1979-1981 and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO, USA from 1982-1989. He taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 1989-1990, and worked at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy from August 1990 to August 2013. He is now Chief Scientist at the South African National Space Agency. Michel is a member of MISR science team since 1995 and has contributed to various other space missions (e.g., MODIS, MERIS, Vegetation, Meteosat, GLI). He is a member of the Atmospheric and Terrestrial Panels of the Global Climate Observing System. His initial work on topics such as the modeling of atmosphere-biosphere interactions and desertification led him to his current interest in the exploitation of satellite remote sensing data for the quantitative characterization of terrestrial surface properties. In his current position, he is promoting the exploitation of space-based assets to support the sustainable development of South Africa and its neighbors, and engaged in scientific lecturing and capacity building in that region.

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