I am the Deputy Director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. I work with the rest of the directorate office to oversee our workforce, which enables science investigations across disciplines and our science divisions. We design, build, fly, and model and analyze data from missions that observe Earth, the Sun, our Solar System, and the universe beyond. I work to improve the culture of our directorate, and the larger institutions it is a part of. In particular, I am dedicated to improving the diversity, inclusivity, and sense of belonging in these organizations.
My research backround is in astrobiology, Earth systems science, and comparative planetology. Most of this work is done by the amazingly talented early career researchers I have collaborated with, who span career stages from high school interns through postdocs and research scientists. The diverse, interdisciplinary team that I co-mentor with Dr. Giada Arney and Dr. Ravi Kopparapu simulates the atmospheres of other worlds, including those of ancient Earth, modern Mars, ancient Mars, and exoplanets. We have used outputs from those simulations to interpret data from some of Earth’s most ancient rocks, from the Mars Curiosity rover, and to simulate the capabilities of future space-based telescopes designed to look for life on exoplanets.
The work this team has done has provided me with tremendous opportunities to serve on multiple interdisciplinary research and mission teams, including the Curiosity science team, the HabEx Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT), the Exoplanet-Starshade Probe Misscion Concept STDT, the Large UV-Optical-Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR) Study Office, the Virtual Planet Laboratory (VPL), and the Resolving Orbital and Climate Keys of Earth and Extraterrestrial Environments with Dynamics (ROCKE-3D) team. I'm also involved in the leadership of the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science.
Finally, I'm passionate about science communication, and believe it is our responsibility as publicly-funded scientists to bring the results of our research back to the public. To this end, I've helped organize FameLab events in the US... and am always looking for new opportunities to talk about NASA science in public forums.