User Working Group

Each NASA DAAC has a User Working Group (UWG) of scientists from the field of research that the DAAC serves. Each working group includes the DAAC Scientist, the appropriate NASA Program Scientist, and the Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) Project Scientist.

According to their terms of reference, each User Working Group is to:

  • Provide ongoing guidance to the DAAC regarding data holdings, system capabilities, documentation, data formats, and communications procedures which serve the needs of the scientific community.
  • Recommend and implement a strategy for prioritization of data holdings and level of support to be provided by the DAAC to the user community.
  • Serve as a community representative testing ground to evaluate the effectiveness of procedures and protocols for surveying DAAC data holdings, and ordering and acquiring data sets in an efficient manner.

Feedback may be sent to the UWG Chair, Dr. Gina Henderson (, or DAAC UWG Coordinator Donna Scott ( at NSIDC.

Current Membership

Chris Derksen Environment Canada, Climate Processes
Gina Henderson United States Naval Academy
Jesse Johnson University of Montana, Missoula
John S. Kimball Flathead Lake Biological Station, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana
Nathan Kurtz NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Nettie LaBelle-Hamer 
(ex officio)
Alaska Satellite Facility, Director
Anne Nolin Oregon State University
Axel Schweiger Polar Science Center, University of Washington
Nick Steiner The City College of New York, Earth and Atmospheric Science
NASA Representatives
Tom Wagner NASA HQ Cryosphere Scientist
Jeanne Behnke ESDIS Project, GSFC
University of Colorado/NSIDC Representatives
Amanda Leon
DAAC Manager
National Snow and Ice Data Center
Kate Heightley
Deputy DAAC Manager
National Snow and Ice Data Center
Donna Scott
DAAC UWG Coordinator
National Snow and Ice Data Center
Mark Serreze
NSIDC Director
National Snow and Ice Data Center
Walt Meier
DAAC Scientist
National Snow and Ice Data Center DAAC


The NSIDC DAAC UWG was formerly the Polar DAAC User Working Group (PoDAG) that served the NSIDC DAAC. PoDAG previously served the Alaska Satellite Facility DAAC. The ASF DAAC Manager and DAAC Scientist continue to participate in the NSIDC DAAC UWG, and the NSIDC DAAC Manager and DAAC Scientist participate in the ASF DAAC User Working Group.