Dr. Kathleen (Kathy) Fontaine

Dr. Kathleen (Kathy) Fontaine joined RPI in 2014, after 25 years at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, first  as a contractor, and then as a civil servant.  She is currently a Research Scientist in the Tetherless Web Constellation, where she developed and teaches a graduate course in Big Data Policy.  Dr. Fontaine has also developed an Ethics module for the Capstone class, and has designed a Research Methods seminar that she hopes to develop into a full course.  At RPI, she works with several IDEA projects, including AIRC and TWC.

Dr. Fontaine’s government career included both supporting the development of, and then creating policies to enable data access nationally and internationally through the Committee on Earth Observations Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Information Systems and Services (WGISS); in the Group on Earth Observations (GEO); and in the US interagency US Group on Earth Observations (USGEO). These relationships drove her professional and research interests in international organizations and their cultures, developing and implementing policies, and the intricacies of volunteer organizations.  Dr. Fontaine is still actively involved with GEO, serving on their Programme Board on behalf of the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP).  Just prior to joining ITWS, Dr. Fontaine served as the Managing Director for the Research Data Alliance/US, in support of research data sharing activities nationally and internationally. 

Her professional affiliations include the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and its web science group, the ACM policy group (US Technology Policy Committee), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (IEEE GRSS), and the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT).

Her hobbies include singing, cooking, sewing, and looking after her rescue dogs with her husband Mark.