Dr. Mike Gunson has worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab since 1987. He started out working on the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy Experiment (ATMOS), which was designed to study the composition of the atmosphere in detail. Since 2009, he has worked as project scientist for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) mission. This new mission will study carbon dioxide in our atmosphere from space, telling us how the carbon is being cycled around our planet and the implications for climate change.
What excites you about the job?
The huge scientific importance of the measurements [the mission will take].
OCO-2 will soon be in orbit above the Earth. What are you most looking forward to about the mission?
Complete this sentence: At heart, I'm just a frustrated …
What do you think the mission’s legacy will be?
It will offer us the first step for routine monitoring of changes in the Earth’s carbon cycle.
After OCO-2, what's next for you?
A bottle of 25-year-old single malt.
How would you like to be remembered?