NASA’s Fall 2017 Datanauts were announced on July 25, and UNICEF’s Office of Innovation will be brightly (get it, like the stars! No?) represented by Blair Palmer, a galactically (Enough now – Ed.) talented member of our San Francisco team.

© UNICEF/UN070445/d’Aki

The NASA Datanaut program is run by their Open Innovation Team, and it’s part of NASA’s Office of the Chief Innovation Officer.

Only 50 Datanauts are selected, representing a range of backgrounds, experience and technical expertise, with one common theme: each is eager to learn and enhance coding skills, and experiment with NASA’s data, tools, techniques, and subject matter experts. 

These Datanauts receive monthly challenges from NASA, and share their ideas on how to solve problems facing space and life on earth. The work is often collaborative, and the Datanaut experience encourages individual and group discovery (ha! Got one more in) through a vibrant data problem-solving community, virtual data chats with NASA and external experts, and community events hosted by class members. 

Blair Palmer’s perspective is always valued, ALWAYS, but it’s especially relevant in the Rocket (Data) Science arena. Blair’s background as an epidemiologist – as an infectious disease specialist – makes her the kind of data nerd who believes in harnessing technology for social good. She brings real facts and creativity to the Innovation Team every day, and we know she’ll occupy the same unique space (can’t stop, won’t stop) in the Datanaut community.

Blair’s Datanaut experience will also bring new insight and perspective to UNICEF Innovation – ensuring we identify and develop technologies and practices that strengthen UNICEF’s work, and deliver unique partnerships that allow us to solve problems creatively across the globe. And beyond.