NCCS Staff Spotlight: Mary Aronne


Honoring Women's History Month, this spotlight focuses on Mary Aronne’s journey from visiting NASA Goddard as a child to working there today as a support scientist.


Mary Aronne

Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland

Career path: I started at NASA Goddard as a high school summer intern. In college, I interned with the Community Coordinated Modeling Center and Space Weather Research Center as a space weather forecaster. I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and Geography from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2018. I was especially interested in weather, climate, and remote sensing. The most important class I took outside of my degree was computer programming. Now, I am a support scientist with the Innovation Lab [involving staff and resources from the NASA Center for Climate Simulation and its parent Computational and Information Sciences and Technology Office].

Current role: I work on several projects developing training datasets for machine learning algorithms. I also use satellite imagery and other inputs to create data products. I primarily focus on land cover and water mapping.

Inspiration: I’ve been interested in science since I was young. My dad would take me to the NASA Goddard Visitor Center, astronomy clubs, and other activities he could find relating to whatever latest science topic I couldn’t stop talking about. I love learning about the natural world and the ongoing discoveries in Earth and space.

Women who have influenced me: I am very fortunate to have worked with many women who have been an inspiration to me since the first day I stepped onto Goddard’s campus. In addition, my mother, grandmother, and three sisters have been incredibly supportive of me and inspired me to keep moving towards making an impact on the world.

Mary Aronne (right) presents her poster “The Application of Machine Learning Algorithms and Landsat Data to Calculate Lake Depth in the Arctic Coastal Plain” at the 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Photo by Jarrett Cohen, NASA Goddard.

How the science and technology sector can better encourage and support women: More of the science and technology sector needs an inclusionary work culture that balances life and family with jobs. This has been shown to be a challenge for women especially through the coronavirus pandemic.