Cameroonian Dr Babette Christelle Tchonang is recruited in a NASA lab to find solutions to the climate threat

Dr Babette Christelle Tchonang

14 Feb 2022 | SCIENCES, SCIENCES | 0 comments

[CamerExcellence] – From Dschang in Cameroon to NASA in California, USA. The oceanographer and physicist Dr Babette Christelle Tchonang, who holds a PhD in oceanography, joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in California in February 2022. The JPL is a NASA space research centre managed by the California Institute of Technology, created in 1936 and located in Pasadena (California) in the United States. The Cameroonian will participate in the efforts of the American space agency to find solutions to preserve the planet threatened by climate change.

She joins the Earth Sciences Division of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and more specifically the Ocean Science and Atmosphere/Ocean Interaction team. 

What we’re doing is giving policymakers indicators of climate change and key parameters that say climate change is getting worse. And it will be the turn of decision-makers, companies, populations, each at their own level, to work so that this climate change can stop or no longer progress,” explains Dr Babette Christelle Tchonang in an interview with the Voice of America.

To achieve this, she will study the expansion of water on the Earth’s surface with the help of the SWOT (Surface Water Ocean Topography) satellite, which will be able to observe up to a record range of 15,000 km. A satellite specializing in the study of the oceans and built jointly by NASA and the Canadian, French and British space agencies. This is a project on which she has worked since she was a PhD student at the European Space Agency’s French centre in Toulouse.

In July 2021, she defended her doctoral thesis at the University of Toulouse on the theme “Contribution of the SWOT (Surface Water Ocean Topography) satellite to ocean analysis and forecasting”. 

La Camerounaise Dr Babette Christelle Tchonang, recrutée dans un labo de la NASA pour trouver des solutions à la menace des changements climatiques

This is a continuation of the work she started in France that she will undertake in California. Dr Babette Christelle Tchonang is a fighter, brave and brilliant because to get to this point, she left Dschang where she obtained a degree in physics. After a short academic stay at the University of Yaounde I, she did a master’s degree in Oceanography in Cotonou, Benin. It was during this master’s degree that she took off, with the itinerary of a fighter: from Cotonou to Germany with an independent project,” writes Marie Faustin Kenmogne.

She advises her younger brothers and sisters not to drop out of school. Her advice is full of meaning: “To the youth, I advise you to go to school. Love your studies! Don’t listen to those people on social networks who say you don’t need to go to school to be a billionaire. It’s not just about being a billionaire. It’s also about the impact you want to make. It’s what you’re going to leave behind as a story after you’re gone that counts. We are all talking about Einstein today. Not because he left an Eiffel Tower, a golden house, but because he left the impact of his knowledge on humanity. That’s what it’s all about. Focus, limit the social networks! Don’t limit yourself to the problems that arise, look further.”

By Laurent Mbakoi, CamerExcellence

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Ils font la fierté du Cameroun

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