Current Voices: Marylanders Feel the Wonder of Space

Current Voices: Marylanders Feel the Wonder of Space


Feb 04 2021
, 7PM- 8PM

Join us for an exciting panel event exploring Maryland residents’ current role in the field of space!

Originally recorded on February 4, 2021.

Resources from the Program:

The Space Shuttle Endeavour blasts off from pad 39A at 8:56 am EDT. This is the final flight for Endeavour.

From the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute to numerous private businesses and a multitude of academic departments training the next generation of scientists, Marylanders residents are helping lead the way towards understanding our place in the universe.

[closed captioning will be available during this live stream event]

Meet Our Speakers:

Karen Yaffe Lottes is the Program Coordinator for the Gaithersburg Community Museum. She has been creating educational programs on themes of history, material culture, and STEM for over thirty years. Karen is the author of In Search of Maryland Ghosts: Montgomery County, published in 2013, which she co-wrote with Dorothy Pugh. The book explores local history through the lens of existing ghost lore.

Dr. Nancy A. Levenson is the deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute. She provides leadership and vision for all activities and champions a science-driven approach to support our missions and the communities we serve. She is also a research professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Before joining the institute, Dr. Levenson was the deputy director and head of science at Gemini Observatory, where she worked to make the observatory scientifically productive for the international community. She was previously tenured at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She started her career as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Levenson regularly publishes in the astronomical literature, including the Astrophysical Journal and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, concentrating on active and star-forming galaxies and their obscuration. She has been invited to present her work around the world at academic institutions and in professional symposia. She regularly serves as a reviewer for professional journals, national scientific organizations, and other institutions. Dr. Levenson is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the IAU (International Astronomical Union), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She has served on the AAAS Section on Astronomy electorate nominating committee and as its chair. Dr. Levenson is a fellow of the AAAS.

Dr. Avi Mandell is an exoplanet scientist in the Planetary Systems Laboratory at NASA Goddard; his research focuses on the characterization of extrasolar planets and the formation and evolution of planetary systems, with the specific goal of understanding factors that determine whether a planetary system can form habitable planets and what the characteristics of these planets will be.

He works on analyzing observations of transiting and directly imaged exoplanets and circumstellar disks, including modeling spectra of planetary atmospheres as well as the dynamical evolution of planets and planetesimals during the formation of planetary systems, and he is the co-founder and Acting Director of the Sellers Exoplanet Environments Collaboration.

This live stream Zoom event is presented in relation to the special exhibit Jews in Space: Members of the Tribe in Orbit, on view September 13, 2020 through April 11, 2021. 

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