Gi-Kong Kim retires after a long and illustrious career at NASA and GMAO


Gi-Kong Kim

Congratulations to Gi-Kong Kim on his retirement from a long and illustrious career at NASA and the GMAO. Over the past two decades, Gi-Kong led the operations and production group, initially for the atmospheric analyses in the Data Assimilation Office (DAO). After the DAO merged with other groups to form the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO), Gi-Kong rose to the challenge of overseeing production of a broader suite of products that are disseminated to a ever-expanding range of users. Building on the early interactions with NASA’s EOS-Terra and EOS-Aqua missions, Gi-Kong was instrumental in satisfying the needs of many NASA instrument teams, multi-agency field campaigns, and researchers using the MERRA and MERRA-2 reanalyses.

Gi-Kong’s long tenure in the GMAO/DAO saw him serve four different Office Chiefs (Namely, Ricky Rood, Bob Atlas, Michele Rienecker and Steven Pawson).

Gi-Kong started with the DAO in 1998. His initial responsibility was to build the Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System (GEOS DAS) and the infrastructure to run GEOS in production, supporting the EOS instrument teams. Through almost two decades, Gi-Kong oversaw the GEOS DAS evolve from version 2 to version 5.16, with vast increases in system complexity. For instance, the resolution of the system increased from about 200km to 10km, and the product suite expanded from a handful of atmospheric fields describing the meteorology (winds, temperatures, and humidity) to a whole suite of products spanning atmospheric composition (ozone and aerosols) to soil moisture distributions.

In addition to these responsibilities, Gi-Kong served as the GMAO’s Computer Security Officer and oversaw all IT infrastructure in the organization.

We wish Gi-Kong well in his retirement, while relaxing on and off the golf course, as well as in his future endeavors.

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