51+ Women in Planetary Science
Women in Planetary Science are doing amazing work essential to expanding our understanding of planets from Mercury to Pluto, and with extrasolar planets beyond. At the 2010 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, women from this site set a goal of conducting original interviews with 51 women in planetary science, one for each week of the year before the next LPSC, and posting excerpts here for all to see. We have since reached and exceeded this goal, and we would like to keep going! The more profiles we have, the more likely we are to speak to and inspire the huge diversity of future women in planetary science who are out there.
This page is updated regularly, so come back soon for even more inspiration!
51+ Women in Planetary Science (original interviews for this blog)
- Dr. Claudia Alexander: Be prepared to be flexible in your career;
- Dr. Fran Bagenal: Working on missions is the best part of my job;
- Dr. Nadine Barlow: Believe in yourself;
- Dr. Amy Barr on Soft Money, Proposals, and Caffeine;
- Dr. Natalie Batalha: From postdoc to Deputy Project Scientist on Kepler;
- Dr. Diana Blaney: Play to your strengths;
- Dr. Bonnie Buratti on Cassini, CRAF, and M3;
- Dr. Julie Castillo-Rogez: Keep your eyes open for opportunities;
- Dr. Nancy Chabot: loves being part of a team and learning new things!
- Dr. Emily Cobabe-Ammann: Sometimes the path isn’t what you expect!
- Dr. Barbara Cohen: a renaissance woman who contributes broadly;
- Dr. Anita Cochran: Build collaborations;
- Dr. Cari Corrigan: Internships can provide unexpected opportunities and connections;
- Dr. Athena Coustenis: just follow your dreams;
- Dr. Ghislaine Crozaz: Choose your mentor carefully;
- Dr. Sally Dodson-Robinson: My ability to choose my own thesis project was a direct consequence of receiving the NSF fellowship;
- Dr. Tasha Dunn: I teach planetary geology every spring, and I love it!
- Dr. Darby Dyar on being a good scientific citizen and managing work time;
- Dr. Bethany Ehlmann: always go where you love the science *and* the people;
- Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton: let go of the myth that a successful scientist follows a certain path;
- Dr. Megan Elwood Madden: Set moderate-term goals and work towards them every day;
- Dr. Christine Floss: There are many definitions of success;
- Dr. Linda French: Don’t limit yourself
- Dr. Alyssa Gilbert says, say yes!
- Dr. Lori Glaze: It’s the science that gets me up in the morning!
- Ms. Angela Green, Lunar sample processor;
- Dr. Vicky Hamilton: There’s no one pathway that’s right for everybody;
- Dr. Heidi Hammel: Ask for help when you need it;
- Dr. Candice Hansen: Get involved with an instrument team;
- Dr. Vicki Hansen: Celebrating research and inquiry, and respect for different ideas;
- Ms. Tanya Harrison: Being proactive helps you stand out from the crowd;
- Dr. Amanda Hendrix, Cassini/Huygens Deputy Project Scientist;
- Dr. Libby Hausrath: practice professional skills early
- Dr. Amy Jurewicz: Stardust, Genesis, and SCIM;
- Dr. Catherine Johnson: Participating Scientist;
- Dr. Rachel Klima: Having your own funding opens a lot of doors;
- Ms. Emily Lakdawalla: It is NOT failure to leave academia;
- Dr. Amy Lovell: Radio astronomy and planetary science;
- Dr. Renu Malhotra: Pick important problems, and don’t sweat the small stuff!
- Dr. Kathleen Mandt: A nontraditional start;
- Dr. Rhiannon Mayne: Choose the right person to work with;
- Dr. Lucy McFadden: Acquire as many technical skills as you can;
- Dr. Beatrice Mueller: Find a great advisor, a great support system, and passions outside of science
- Dr. Keiko Nakamura-Messenger: : Exploring the Cosmos at Atomic Scales;
- Dr. Catherine Neish: Exercise your communication skills;
- Dr. Sarah Noble and the Congressional Science Fellowship;
- Dr. Karly Pitman: Being a soft money researcher… I have flexibility;
- Dr. Louise Prockter: Be tenacious;
Ms. Lynnae Quick: Don’t be afraid to ask for a job!!!
- Dr. Miriam Rengel: Identify professional and personal goals, monitor them and work hard to reach them!
- Dr. Carol Raymond, Dawn Deputy PI;
- Dr. Cass Runyon (coming soon!);
- Dr. Britney Schmidt: Work on what you love;
- Dr. Sara Seager: Exoplanets;
- Dr. Teresa Segura: Working in industry;
- Dr. Anat Shahar: Join a peer mentoring group!
- Ms. Kelsi Singer: do research as an undergraduate, and embrace the rewards of grad school;
- Dr. Rhonda Stroud: Be visible and be involved;
- Dr. Zibi Turtle: Being a planetary scientist is one of the coolest jobs on the planet;
- Dr. Amy Simon Miller: You have to advocate for yourself;
- Dr. Carolyn van der Bogert: Be flexible and proactive (read another interview here);
- Dr. Faith Vilas: Take that opportunity!
- Dr. Christina Viviano-Beck: “Be nice to people, and conduct yourself professionally and your science responsibly – it matters”;
- Dr. Nicolle Zellner: Our scientific training makes us valuable.
If you would like to volunteer to be interviewed, or to conduct an interview, please contact Kelsi Singer, knsinger at levee (dot) wustl (dot) edu.
More Women in Planetary Science (External Links)
- NASA JPL featured Dr. Nathalie Cabrol, Dr. Joy Crisp, Dr. Carol Raymond, and Dr. Rachel Mastrapa (as a graduate student; Rachel is now a research scientist at NASA Ames;
- NASA Quest featured Dr. Rosaly Lopes, Dr. Yvonne Pendelton, and Dr. Linda Spilker, among others;
- The Astronomical Society of the Pacific has a large list of resources on Women in Astronomy, including features on Margaret Burbidge, Margaret Geller, Heidi Hammel, Nancy Roman, Vera Rubin, Carolyn Shoemaker, Ellen Stofan, Jill Tarter, and Virginia Trimble;
- Dr. Wendy Calvin, Nevada Sagebrush article;
- Dr. Marcia Neugebauer, autobiography;
- Dr. Heidi Hammel, book by Fred Bortz;
- Dr. Mini Wadhwa, U Arizona site;
- Dr. Claudia Kessler, Chairwoman of Women in Aerospace Europe and Chief Executive of HE Space Holding BV;
- Amanda Damptz, undergraduate student profiled at USRA site; and
- Many other sites featuring women in Astronomy brought to our attention by WomanAstronomer.com: Women Astronomers at Astronomy Compendium, She Is an Astronomer, Women and the US Naval Observatory, Wikipedia, Category: Women Astronomers, Women in Astronomy, AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy, Distinguished Women of Past and Present, Astronomy, and Women in Astronomy – Bio-Notes.
We also celebrate our engineering colleagues Donna Shirley, project manager on Mars Pathfinder and Mary Chiu from CONTOUR Project Manager. Know of more profiles of outstanding planetary science women? Leave a comment or email the site and we’ll be happy to link them here!
Other great interview collections:
- AstroBetter blog – Career Profile Project interviews (In association with the AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy and the AAS Employment Committee)
Are you looking to introduce female planetary scientists to your students? Consider inviting them to speak at departmental colloquia or special events. Both the American Physical Society (APS) and the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) offer Speakers Bureaus that highlight women and minority speakers available for colloquia, seminars, or special events — and they even provide travel grants. A great suggestion from planetary scientists attending the annual LPSC Women’s Networking Breakfast has been to invite women speakers to speak at department events and a lunch for women graduate students, postdocs, and other interested women, to provide additional support and role models for younger women in the field.