Headquarters Staff

Thorsten Markus

Thorsten Markus is the program manager for Cryospheric Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was head of NASA Goddard's Cryospheric Sciences Lab and the Project Scientist for the ICESat-2 mission.

Thorsten received his Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Bremen, Germany. He came to NASA Goddard SFC in 1996, first as an NRC post-doc, working on Antarctic coastal polynyas, and then via UMBC JCET where he still is an adjunct professor in the physics department. In 2002, he was hired as a civil servant and joined the Microwave Sensors Branch.

His research focuses on the development of new approaches to derive cryospheric parameters from space-borne or air-borne observations. He has participated in and co-led ship-borne and air-borne science campaigns in both hemispheres. He furthermore is working on the use of satellite-derived geophysical parameters in data analysis efforts and in data assimilation schemes to explore the role of cryospheric processes in the polar and global climate system. Thorsten joined NASA Headquarters in September 2019.




Colene Haffke

Colene Haffke is the Deputy Program Manager for NASA's Cryospheric Sciences program. She has a doctorate in Earth System Science from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan. For her dissertation, Colene specialized in atmospheric science, studying tropical convergence zones using satellite observations and machine learning techniques. Colene previously worked in the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation.