Gerald Bawden

Lead Water and Energy Cycle and Program Scientist Earth Surface & Interior

Dr. Gerald Bawden is the Lead for the Water and Energy Cycle and Program Manager for the Earth Surface and Interior in the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.  He is the Program Scientist for the NASA ISRO (India Space Research Organisation) Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Mission, the Surface Deformation and Change (SDC) Mission Study, and UAVSAR/AirSAR-NextGen airborne geodetic imaging radar/Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) facilities instruments and the OASIS Mission Study.  He is the Program Scientist for the GNSS Science Team, Geodetic Imaging, and Natural Hazards Research.  Dr. Bawden is also the Program Scientist for Operational Products for End-Users for Remote Sensing (OPERA) and the Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center (ASF DAAC) for SAR data.  He is the NASA Principal for the intergovernmental Satellite Needs Working Group. 

Dr. Bawden manages a diverse research portfolio that is a blend of advancing solid Earth, terrestrial hydrology, and natural hazards science and enabling new research capabilities with Geodetic Imaging (i.e. NISAR, UAVSAR, and SDC) and GNSS.  His solid Earth program seeks innovative research that advances the fundamental understanding of plate tectonics, lithosphere dynamics, earthquake processes, volcanic unrest, and land subsidence/ landslide mechanisms through remote sensing and modeling.  In  hydrology, he focuses on characterizing the terrestrial water cycle via space based and airborne remote sensing techniques to learn: where is the water? how much water is there in storage, transit, and changing phase (solid, liquid, gas)? how long will it be there? what conditions promote change? and how will climate change influence the global water cycle?  He also seeks to advance the emerging field of Hydrogeodesy that utilizes geodetic techniques to quantify the distribution and movement of water around Earth.  Dr. Bawden manages NASA’s Earth observing Geodetic Imaging portfolio (SAR and InSAR) and GNSS which enables research in nearly every focus area (Ecosystems, Cryosphere, Solid Earth, Water, Physical Oceanography, and Weather) and all Applied Science themes (Agriculture, Disaster Response, Water Resources, Health, Ecological Conservation, Wildland Fires, Climate, and Capacity Building) and provides a technology/technique testbed to explore the next generation of research capabilities. 

Prior to joining NASA in 2014, Dr. Bawden was a Research Geophysicist with the US Geological Survey California Water Science Center and Western Geographics Science Center in Sacramento.  He oversaw the Western Remote Sensing and Visualization Center that specialized in the utilization of space, airborne, and ground based geodetic measurements to advance research on groundwater, surface water, and snow science research/applications.  His research also focused on characterizing and understanding of the mechanisms and tipping points that drive natural and anthropogenic hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, and land subsidence.  His breadth of this research also covered topics including glacier dynamics, ecosystem/biomorphic/wildlife habit characterization, levee/dam/ infrastructure stability, and 3D scientific visualization. Dr. Bawden was a Project Manager for the International Charter which provided remote sensing imagery for global disaster response. He began his undergraduate studies at Arizona State University in Planetary Geology and received a B.S. in Geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis.