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S3 Episode 1: Telling the Climate Story

In This Episode

There’s one key consistency Dr. Miguel Román has observed across the countless photos he’s seen of our planet taken from space: our natural environment has no borders.

As a leading mind in climate science, Dr. Román has made it his mission to illustrate the effects of climate change through meaningful stories rather than onslaughts of data. And he often uses his native Puerto Rico as his protagonist. The island’s susceptibility to hurricanes and its reputation as a “front line community in the face of climate,” means that it’s consistently been forced to help itself structurally while propping up its own community emotionally.

Dr. Román believes that the disasters Puerto Rico has had to endure can inform and educate the greater Latino community about climate change moving forward. Not only in how we adapt to that change but in how we better understand the wellness of the planet as a whole—without borders.

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About Our Guest

Dr. Miguel O. Román serves as Chief Climate Scientist at Leidos– a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader. As part of the Leidos Civil Group, Román is responsible for planning, leading, directing, and growing a $100M portfolio of integrated and advanced capabilities, including earth-observing data and information systems, renewable energy, disaster resilience, and sustainable urban infrastructure.

Dr. Román has served in multiple leadership, organizational management, and technical capacities across the federal government, academic, and nonprofit sectors. Since 2014, he has led the Terra/Aqua MODIS and NOAA-20/Suomi-NPP VIIRS Science Teams, a worldwide group of investigators and technical staff in charge of one of the largest and most comprehensive polar-orbiting satellite systems operated by NASA and NOAA to monitor our planet’s vital signs.

A leading expert in satellite remote sensing, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and sustainability, Román has championed translational research and data-intensive approaches to assess and address climate-related risks. His work is internationally recognized for shedding light on the disproportionate hardships experienced by socially-vulnerable and underserved communities following major disasters.

A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dr. Román was recognized by President Barack Obama in 2016 with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He is also a 2014 Service to America Medal “Sammies” finalist, one of the highest honors for federal civil servants. Dr. Román holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, a master’s degree in systems engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in geography from Boston University.

Linkedin: Dr. Miguel O. Román