Meet the team



Paula has been a biological oceanographer for 25 years. She spent over 16 years as the program manager for Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry at NASA Headquarters, as well as the Lead for NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Focus Area and the agency’s Carbon Cycle Science research lead, before becoming the Earth Science Division’s Acting Deputy Director in 2019. She is Program Scientist for MODIS-Terra and Aqua, Suomi NPP, PACE, NAAMES (EV-S), HICO, CORAL (EV-S), and the former SeaWiFS mission. She has been honored to be invited to teach the Earth Science module of NASA’s astronaut training class over the last several years.



Sarah is an Earth science program and policy analyst with Booz Allen Hamilton and the NASA Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters. As an ecologist with a background in environmental health science, international relations, and communications, she is always on the lookout for experiences that complement personal interests in health disparities, environmental and infectious disease, and international development.



Shobhana, MD, PhD, is a physician scientist, currently serving as Open Innovation and Community Applications Manager in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters, where she uses her biomedical training to manage open innovation programs for the Applied Sciences Program. With a passion for innovation and citizen engagement in science, Shobhana is known as "Shobsat" on our blog! Shobhana completed her medical and graduate training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology.



Ajay is a Data Scientist with Booz Allen Hamilton. At the NASA Langley Research Center, he works with Python and R to develop algorithms and client solutions. With a background in Astronomy & Physics, he has conducted research in the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. As part of the Space Apps Global Organizing team out of NASA Headquarters, Ajay is bringing his experience with collegiate hackathons to developing challenges and supporting the framework of NASA Space Apps.



Matt manages storytelling and engagement at SecondMuse. He produces creative promotional efforts, whether blogs, video interviews, live streams, or social media content, for the purpose of global social and environmental impact, in addition to finding new ways to connect with the community. He first became part of the in Space Apps Global Organizing team in 2016 and has also been involved in the team behind the NASA Datanauts initiative. Matt is the Space Apps 2018 Community Manager.



Chad is a partner at SecondMuse, where he is responsible for strategic programs, marketing, and learning services. As a business professional with 25 years of experience in strategic problem solving, systems design, and learning, Chad strongly believes collaboration is fundamental in addressing complex problems and creating global prosperity. His work at SecondMuse includes strategy and systems, and conceiving, incubating, and scaling innovation initiatives in partnership with public and private sector organizations. He has worked across sectors including corporate strategy, big data, blockchain, entrepreneurship and sustainability.



Neisan is the Director of Data and Strategic Programs at SecondMuse. He has 10 years of experience implementing data innovation programs with leading development and technology organizations such as Intel, NASA, NYCEDC, UNEP and the World Bank Group. His areas of expertise include big data, corporate strategy, civic tech, entrepreneurship and sustainability. Neisan is passionate about addressing complex development challenges through collaboration, human-centered design, and technology.



Julie is a program analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton working from NASA Headquarters. She grew up in Huntsville, Alabama as part of a NASA family, and she is excited to continue the tradition by joining the Space Apps Global Organizing Team. For the 2019 hackathon, she’ll serve as the Virtual Event Coordinator. Julie brings a wealth of experience from years of organizing international exchange programs and from serving as a professor while pursing her PhD. She is passionate about education and collaboration outside of the classroom. With her background in the humanities, she hopes to create new types of Space Apps experiences for a broader range of participants.



Ben is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Design at Mindgrub. He has been a member of the Space Apps Global Organizing team since 2015, supporting the development of Space Apps' digital platforms. He appreciates the opportunity to enable tens-of-thousands of participants to collaborate, innovate, and share their work on the challenges set forth each year.



Jill is a Digital Strategist at Mindgrub with an extensive background in online platforms and communications. She joined the Global Organizing (GO) team in 2019 and supports the Space Apps website and its overall digital presence by helping to develop and implement the online tools that encourage collaboration and innovation within the Space Apps community.



Marta is a Lead Project Manager with a serious passion for people and technology. With a background in website development, she brings industry knowledge to the Space Apps project and helpful insights for process improvement. Marta’s biggest focus is open communication, to create successful projects and most importantly, trust. She is thrilled to be a part of the GO Team for a second year, and hopefully many more to come.



Lauren has over 10 years of UX design and illustration experience working with software companies, design agencies, web development teams, educational institutions, and fan conventions on dozens of amazing projects. She joined the Space Apps organizing team in 2018 as Interactive Art Director at Mindgrub, but has been a participant in the challenge as far back as Space Apps 2014. She's most interested in how technology transforms creativity, and how events like Space Apps provide the opportunity for creativity to transform technology.



Joe is a Software Engineer at Mindgrub and a ten year veteran of front-end and back-end web development. He has experience in everything from large scale enterprise architectures both public and private to small business and non-profit sites. He joined the Space Apps organizing team in 2019 as the lead developer. He is excited to be a part of the team and can not wait to see what solutions the Space Apps community brings to this year's challenges.