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Meet: Dr. Arlene Levine

Photo of Arlene Levine

Program Specialist
Education and Public Outreach
NASA Langley Research Center

Who I am and what I do:

 As a Program Specialist in Education and Public Outreach, I provide education and outreach support for atmospheric and space science research. I work with K-12 schools, universities, other government agencies, and professional societies. I create and distribute education and outreach materials. In addition, I am the Manager of Education and Outreach on the proposed NASA Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Surveyor (ARES) of Mars, a robotic powered airplane to study the surface and atmosphere of Mars. ARES has been proposed as a NASA mission to Mars to be launched in 2011.

Areas of expertise:

  • Knowledge of atmospheric science
  • Knowledge of space science
  • Knowledge of educational practices
  • Organizational skills and program management skills
  • Creativity
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Human relations skills

How I first became interested in this profession:

As a young child, I found science interesting and intriguing. I joined an astronomy club in New York City when I was in high school and became fascinated by space science. I included chemistry and physics in my high school curriculum because I thought they were "fun" to study.

What helped me prepare for this job:

I have teaching experience ranging from elementary school to graduate school.  I taught remedial mathematics in a New York City elementary school and English as a second language in a New York City junior high school (middle school), psychology and human relations in a Virginia Community College, and counseling, psychology and organizational management in two graduate programs, thus giving me experience in a wide spectrum of educational institutions. Both as an undergraduate and after graduation, I took many English, literature, science and mathematics classes, sharpening my communication skills as well as my science knowledge.

My education and training

B.A., psychology, Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY)

   M.Ed., counseling, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

   Certificate of Advanced Study, counseling, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

   Ed.D., counseling, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA

Additional college coursework in meteorology, geology, English, literature, and education.

Career Path

  • Two years teaching elementary and junior high school in New York City
  • Three years teaching psychology and human relations at Virginia Community College
  • Four years teaching psychology, counseling, and organizational management in graduate school programs in Virginia
  • Recipient of American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) fellowship working in the Langley Space Station Office, studying the psychological effects of long duration space flight on astronauts
  • Two years NASA contractor in education and public outreach and an additional two years as a NASA Education and Information Specialist at NASA Langley Research Center
  • Three years in the Long Duration Exposure Facility  (LDEF) Project at NASA Langley Research Center
  • Three years as Technology Teaming Manager for the Space and Atmospheric Science Program Office at NASA Langley Research Center
  • Seven years as Program Manager/Program Specialist in public outreach and education, in atmospheric science and space at NASA Langley Research Center

What I like best about my job
I love the freedom to be creative. It is a wonderful challenge to create programs and educational products and see them put to use.  I also enjoy interacting with so many geographically, ethnically, chronologically, and educationally diverse organizations and people.

What I like least about my job
The red tape gets a little tedious, but it is worth the effort.

My advice to anyone interested in this occupation
Communication skills are extremely important for any occupation. Develop your ability to speak and write effectively. Study many diverse areas of science. This enables you to have a strong background and knowledge to draw upon. It also opens many doors. Perseverance counts. Do not give up your dreams!

Since 1999, I have worked with Girl Scouts, Girl Scout Leaders and Girl Scout Trainers at the local level (The Colonial Coast Council  in Virginia and North Carolina) and since 2001, I have worked with the Girl Scouts at the national level (Girl Scouts USA). I have developed a series of workshops covering topics in atmospheric and planetary science, including the components of the Earth system and how they interact, global climate change and remote sensing. I am a former Girl Scout. I find the work with the Girl Scouts very exciting and rewarding.


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