The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Inc., manager of the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory, today announced that former NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati, Ph.D., joined the organization’s board of directors. The CASIS Board of Directors seeks to ensure and enhance the utility of the ISS National Lab to further basic and applied space-based research that brings value to our nation and drives a robust market in low Earth orbit.

“The International Space Station is home to a one-of-a-kind laboratory that provides an environment and perspective that allow us to push the frontiers in science as we seek to further understand biology, physics, and our world. It is a privilege to be part of the group that oversees the management and mission of this amazing orbiting national laboratory,” Dr. Abdalati said. 

Dr. Abdalati currently serves as director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is also a professor in the department of geography. CIRES, which was established through a Cooperative Agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, conducts research that advances our understanding of the global, regional, and local environments and the human relationship with those environments for the benefit of society. Dr. Abdalati’s research interests are in the use of space-based and airborne remote sensing techniques to understand how and why Earth’s environment is changing and what those changes mean for life on Earth.

In addition to Dr. Abdalati’s extensive career as a researcher and educator, he spent 14 years working at NASA. During this time, he served in a variety of leadership roles that shaped the strategic priorities for our nation’s space agency. At NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, he served as a research scientist and eventual branch head. Dr. Abdalati also served as the manager of NASA’s Cryospheric Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters. In 2011, Dr. Abdalati was named NASA chief scientist by then NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

“The CASIS Board of Directors is honored to have Dr. Waleed Abdalati join us as we continue to further the strategic priorities and mission objectives of the ISS National Laboratory, which serves as a public service to our nation,” said CASIS Board of Directors Chairwoman Dr. Elizabeth Cantwell. “With Dr. Abdalati’s robust background in the Earth sciences and his knowledge of NASA and its programs, he will provide valuable insights that will further relationships and drive areas of experimentation that have terrestrial impact through this one-of-a-kind research facility in low Earth orbit.”

CASIS manages the ISS National Lab through a Cooperative Agreement with NASA. To learn more about the science sponsored by the ISS National Lab and opportunities to become part of the space station research community, please visit

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About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: The International Space Station (ISS) is a one-of-a-kind laboratory that enables research and technology development not possible on Earth. As a public service enterprise, the ISS National Lab allows researchers to leverage this multiuser facility to improve life on Earth, mature space-based business models, advance science literacy in the future workforce, and expand a sustainable and scalable market in low Earth orbit. Through this orbiting national laboratory, research resources on the ISS are available to support non-NASA science, technology and education initiatives from U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) manages the ISS National Lab, under Cooperative Agreement with NASA, facilitating access to its permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space. To learn more about the ISS National Lab, visit