Ms. Kathy Fontaine

Global Change Data Center (Code 610.2)

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD


Kathy Fontaine began her policy career at NASA in the Mission to Planet Earth Program Office at the Goddard Space Flight Center in 1993.  She wrote speeches, papers, and presentations for the management team, as well as contributed to the first version of the EOS Handbook.  She also worked for NOAA while it chaired the Committee on Earth Observation Systems (CEOS) Working Group on Data (WGD) Catalog Subgroup.  Ms. Fontaine served as rapporteur for the WGD meetings, producing real-time minutes each evening of the previous days’ discussions and actions.

Since 2003, she has been working on general policy issues of interest to NASA and its Earth science data community.  Ms. Fontaine co-authored a study which recommended the way forward for NASA’s Earth science data systems (referred to as the SEEDS Study).  She now manages a set of community-based working groups which are a follow on of that study, and which examine issues of interest to the Earth science community, including standards adoption, technology infusion, metrics reporting, and software reuse.  Part of her work also involves developing a cost estimation tool to determine what both Earth and space science data systems should cost (this software tool is currently in the preliminary stages of the patent process at Goddard).
Much of her current work involves interagency and international policy.  She is a member of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) United States Global Earth Observation (USGEO) Subcommittee, serving as Co-Chair of the Planning and Integration (PnI) Team, and as Vice Chair of the Architecture and Data Management Working Group.  At the international level, she is the NASA representative to the CEOS Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS).  In both of these groups, her role is to provide policy and technical expertise and guidance on data management, data policy, and data systems architecture issues from the NASA perspective.
She received a BS in Physics (Astrophysics) from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in 1984, and an MA in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, Washington, DC, in 2002.  Ms. Fontaine is a member of AIAA, AGU and Women in Aerospace, and has been listed in Who’s Who in America since 2004.  She has authored or co-authored over a dozen papers and articles on various aspects of earth science policy.
Ms. Fontaine and her husband live near Annapolis, Maryland, where they sail his almost-restored wooden boat, a 1947 Owen's Cutter, Lady, whenever they can.