Tom Painter is a snow hydrologist and remote sensing specialist. He was recruited to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech in 2010 to create what became the NASA Airborne Snow Observatory. In 2018, he was awarded the NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal and the Bureau of Reclamation’s John W. Keys III Award, both for his team’s work on ASO. In 2019, he was elected as Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
In 2019, he departed NASA/JPL to pursue the technology transfer of ASO to the operational commercial world to make true the vision of providing quantitative snow measurements and accurate snowmelt runoff forecasting around Planet Earth.