Chief Climate Scientist
Stephen D. Ambrose has been a meteorologist, physical scientist, and program manager in his long federal and private sector career. He has directed teams and groups in the development of science and technology research and reapplications in Earth Science. He now serves as Chief Climate Scientist at SAIC. His research and application interests include: natural disaster reduction; climate data and information, and implications of a changing climate on people, ecosystems, and the planet.
From 1978 to 2014 he worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service and antecedent agencies. After years of work related to meteorology, climatology, and oceanography at the National Ocean Service, National Weather Service, and the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, he joined the Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service as Director of the National Wetlands Inventory Center, from there he joined NASA as Program Executive for Disasters in the Science Mission
Directorate encouraging applications of NASA’s cadre of satellite and airborne missions towards decision support systems for government and private industry. In 2008 he was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal for efforts responding to the nation’s weather and wildfire disasters. He retired from civil service in 2014 as NOAA’s Data Operations Manager in the development of their geostationary satellite ground system supporting satellite ingest and product generation.
From 2014 to now, he worked in private industry as Program Manager and Director supporting NOAA, NASA, and the EPA missions in operations, research and development. This included working at NASA’s Center for Climate Simulation developing services to access downscaled climate information and working to utilize NASA’s supercomputer cloud services to support Arctic climate research. At NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, he led a program of over 50 specialists, analysts and scientists supporting the Climate Program Office, Sea Grant, the Weather Program Office, and the Uncrewed Systems Research office. In 2018, joining Woolpert, a geospatial and architecture firm, as Program Director for Government Solutions, he supported the firm’s work with critical infrastructure, natural disasters, GIS, and information systems. Lastly, joining General Dynamics Information Technology in late 2019, he led a group of scientists and engineers at the EPA supporting research and development in geographic information, environmental protection, chemical analysis, and disaster resilience. Now at SAIC he leads the growth of a climate program office supporting federal, industry, state, and local customers as well as utilizing SAIC’s deep experience in science and technology for solutions to benefit society.
He received a B.S. in General Physical Sciences that included meteorology, geology, and astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1977, and did graduate studies in geography and climatology at the University of Maryland, Geography Department from 1981 to 1985.