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Planetary Geologist's Studies Illuminate Earth

Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dr. Ellen Stofan (ARCS Metro Washington Chapter (MWC) Member; Chief Scientist, NASA) has steadily expanded the frontiers of U.S. science through her current role as science advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden; her leadership roles at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in missions that explored Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan, and Earth; and her private sector work. A March 2016 GeoSpace interview notes that her work in planetary geology has led to a better understanding of Venus and contributed insights about Earth-like planets. She has also continuously leveraged her impressive skills to further U.S. STEM education, proactively focusing on boosting representation of women and minorities in STEM disciplines. As noted in an April 2016 U.S. News and World Report interview, she advises students to seek out role models in science and engineering, adding, “As a scientist, you're getting to solve amazing and wonderful puzzles.” She is widely published; has received numerous awards; and has chaired many committees, including the Venus Exploration Analysis Group. 

Dr. Stofan says of ARCS/MWC that, “Organizations that promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are incredibly important. We need more opportunities to promote diversity in STEM, because different points of view and different approaches to problem-solving are required in today’s challenging world.”

Photo courtesy of NASA