James R. (Jim) Irons is director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He leads over 1400 scientists and support staff, all dedicated to studying the Earth as an integrated system that includes the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere, cryosphere, and geosphere. The division focuses on observation of the Earth from space and aircraft, on developing and applying numerical models that describe and predict how the Earth works as an integrated system, and on the application of our research for societal benefit. Irons is also the Landsat 8 project scientist. He has worked for over 40 years at GSFC as an Earth scientist and science manager. Irons received a BSc degree in environmental resources management in 1976, an MSc degree in agronomy in 1979 from Penn State, and a PhD degree in agronomy in 1993 from the University of Maryland.