NASA rewards a Spanish physical woman

Belén Franch, 34, has been awarded by the US agency for her work against climate change and hunger in the world. Franch is currently an associate scientist at the aerospace agency and, since 2013, a professor at the University of Maryland.

Her research focuses on two fields, one more theoretical and linked to climate change and the second, more practical and that helps to fight hunger in the world.

“On the one hand, I work on the surface albedo, which serves to determine how the different surfaces of the earth reflect all the energy that comes from the Sun. Thanks to this investigation we can see how the (terrestrial) surface has changed over time “She commented.

“For the most applied part of my work,” she said, “I use images obtained through satellites to estimate agricultural production.”

This research, she explained, allows calculating the future production of cereal “until two months before the harvest”, so that countries can react in the event of an imminent shortage in order to “mitigate the rise in prices” that usually occurs before this type of situations.

The dedication with which Franch works led months ago to her boss, the Frenchman Eric Vermote, scientific physical researcher at NASA, to nominate the young Spanish for this “very competitive prize” that recognizes the first ten years of professional career and that It was delivered to her at NASA’s Goddard Center.

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