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Board Members and Meetings


About the SSB


The Space Studies Board (SSB) was established in 1958 to serve as the focus of the interests and responsibilities in space research for the National Academies. The SSB provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space science and applications, and it serves as the focal point within the National Academies for activities on space research. It oversees advisory studies and program assessments, facilitates international research coordination, and promotes communications on space science and science policy between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The SSB also serves as the U.S. National Committee for the International Council for Science Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).

Origins of the Space Studies Board:

Letter announcing the formation of the Space Science Board
(Page 1 and Page 2), from Detlev W. Bronk, president of the National Academy of Sciences, to Lloyd V. Berkner, president of the Associated Universities, Inc.

1958 Press Release


Board Meetings


April 26-28, 2016 Washington, DC 

View Agenda I View presentations


November 3-5, 2015, Irvine, CA
view agenda | view presentations

April 22-23, 2015 Washington DC
view agenda | view presentations

November 2-3, 2016  Irvine, CA
May 2-3, 2017  Washington, DC
November 1-2, 2017  Irvine, CA
May 1-2, 2018  Washington, DC
November 7-8, 2018  Irvine, CA
April 30-May 1, 2019  Washington, DC
November 6-7, 2019  Irvine, CA
April 28-29, 2020  Washington, DC
November 4-5, 2020  Irvine, CA


Archive of past board meetings


Current Members

David N. Spergel, Chair, Princeton University
Robert D. Braun, Vice Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology
James G. Anderson, Harvard University
James P. Bagian, University of Michigan
Jeff M. Bingham, Consultant
Mary Lynne Dittmar, Dittmar Associates
Joseph Fuller Jr., Futron Corporation
Thomas R. Gavin,California Institute of Technology
Neil Gehrels, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Sarah Gibson, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Wesley T. Huntress, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Anthony C. Janetos, Boston University
Chryssa Kouveliotou, The George Washington University
Saul Perlmutter, Lawrence Berkeley  National Laboratory
Louise M. Prockter, Johns Hopkins University
Mark H. Thiemens, University of California, San Diego
Meenakshi Wadhwa, Arizona State University
Thomas H. Zurbuchen, University of Michigan

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Former Space Studies Board Chairs

2008-2014 Charles F. Kennel, Chair, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego
2003-2008 Lennard A. Fisk, University of Michigan
2000–2003 John H. McElroy, (deceased) University of Texas at Arlington
1994–2000 Claude R. Canizares, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1988–1994 Louis J. Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology
1982–1988 Thomas M. Donahue, (deceased) University of Michigan
1976-1982 A.G.W. Cameron, (deceased) Harvard College Observatory
1973–1976 Richard M. Goody, Harvard University
1970–1973 Charles H. Townes, (deceased) University of California at Berkeley
1962–1969 Harry H. Hess, (deceased) Princeton University
1958-1962 Lloyd V. Berkner, (deceased) Graduate Research Center, Dallas, Texas

Former Space Studies Board Vice Chairs 

2010-2014 John Klineberg, Vice Chair, Space Systems/Loral (retired)
2006-2010 A. Thomas Young, Vice Chair, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired) 
2000–2006 George A. Paulikas, The Aerospace Corporation (retired)

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Executive Committee

The Space Studies Board's Executive Committee (XCOM) is a subset of the full Board, and acts on the Board's behalf between its regular meetings. The XCOM assists the chair with strategic planning, consults on Board and committee membership, and develops agendas for Board meetings. The XCOM usually meets, separate from the full Board, in late summer.


David N. Spergel, Chair, Princeton University
Robert Braun, Vice Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology
Mary Lynne Dittmar, Dittmar Associates
Neil Gehrels, NASA
Anthony Janetos, Boston University
Chryssa Kouveliotou, The George Washington University
Meenakshi Wadhwa, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center
Thomas Zurbuchen, University of Michigan

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Lester L. Lyles
The Lyles Group
(Chair, ASEB)
Jean Pierre Swings
Institute d'Astrophysique
(Chair, ESSC) thru October 2014
Athena Coustenis
National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) of France
(Chair, ESSC) beginning November 2014

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SSB Member Biographies

DAVID N. SPERGEL (NAS), Chair, is Charles A. Young Professor of Astronomy and chair of the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. He was the W.M. Keck Distinguished Visiting Professor of Astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Study. Dr. Spergel has made major contributions to cosmology, astroparticle physics, galactic structure, and instrumentation. He led the theoretical analysis for the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and for the Atacama Cosmolgy Telescope, invented novel coronagraphs for planet detection, originated and explored the concept of self-interacting dark matter, and showed that the Milky Way is a barred galaxy. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and a Presidential Young Investigator and received the following awards: NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award, the Helen B. Warner Prize, the Bart Bok Prize, the AAS Second Century Lecturer, a MacArthur Fellowship, the Shaw Prize in Astrophysics, and shared the Gruber Prize as a member of the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) science team. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He is currently co-chair of the WFIRST-AFTA science team. Dr. Spergel served on the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for Astronomical Sciences, the Theory, Experimental and Laboratory Astrophysics Subcommittee, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Hayden Planetarium. He is the editor of the Princeton Series in Astrophysics. He received an A.B. (astronomy summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Princeton University; he was a Harvard Travelling Scholar at Oxford University; and he received an A.M. in astronomy and a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University. His NRC service includes the following committees: Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (co-chair); Committee on the Assessment of a Plan for U.S. Participation in Euclid (chair); Committee to Review the Science Requirements for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA); Astro2010 Panel on Cosmology and Fundamental Physics (chair); Committee on Physics of the Universe; Committee on Gravitational Physics; member of the Organizing Committee for the Eighth and Ninth Annual Symposiums on Frontiers of Science; and the Panel on Cooperation with the USSR in High Energy Astrophysics.
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ROBERT D. BRAUN (NAE), Vice Chair, serves as the David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology in the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He leads an active research program focused on the design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration. Dr. Braun has worked extensively in the areas of entry system design, planetary atmospheric flight, and space mission architecture development and has contributed to the design, development, test, and operation of several robotic space flight systems. In 2010 and 2011, he served as the first NASA chief technologist in more than a decade. In this capacity, he was the senior agency executive responsible for technology and innovation policy and programs. Earlier in his career, Dr. Braun served on the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center. He is a NAE member, an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) fellow and the principle author or co-author of over 275 technical publications in the fields of planetary exploration, atmospheric entry, multidisciplinary design optimization, and systems engineering. Dr. Braun has a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in astronautics from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. He previously served as co-chair of the NRC’s Committee on Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts and as a member of the Committee on the Planetary Science Decadal Survey: Mars Panel, the Committee on New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration, and the Committee on Human Spaceflight: Technical Panel.
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JAMES G. ANDERSON (NAS) is the Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard University. His research interests include energy and environmental systems, atmospheric and climate modeling, and oceans and geophysics. His research group focuses on three domains in the physical sciences: (1) chemical reactivity viewed from the microscopic perspective of electron structure, molecular orbitals and reactivities of radical-radical and radical-molecule systems; (2) chemical catalysis sustained by free radical chain reactions that dictate the macroscopic rate of chemical transformation in Earth’s stratosphere and troposphere; and (3) mechanistic links between chemistry, radiation, and dynamics in the atmosphere that control climate. He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1978 as the Robert P. Burden Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry; in 1982 he was appointed the Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry. Anderson served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology from July 1998 through June 2001. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a frequent contributor to National Research Council Reports. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship; the E.O. Lawrence Award in Environmental Science and Technology; the American Chemical Society’s Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest; and the University of Washington’s Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award. In addition, he received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005; The United Nations Earth Day International Award; Harvard University’s Ledlie Prize for Most Valuable Contribution to Science by a Member of the Faculty; and the American Chemical Society’s National Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology. He earned his B.S. in physics from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. in physics and Astrogeophysics from the University of Colorado. In addition to the Space Studies Board he has most recently served on the NRC’s Survey Steering Committee for Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Community Assessment and Strategy for the Future and the Committee on Global Change Research.
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JAMES P. BAGIAN (NAE/IOM) is the director of the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety and is a professor in the College of Engineering and Medical School at the University of Michigan. Previously, he served as the first director of the Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) and the first chief patient safety officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 1999 to 2010 where he developed numerous patient safety related tools and programs that have been adopted nationally and internationally. Dr. Bagian served as a NASA astronaut and is a veteran of two Space Shuttle missions including as the lead mission specialist for the first dedicated Life Sciences Spacelab mission. Currently his primary interest and expertise involves the development and implementation of multidisciplinary programs and projects that involve the integration of engineering, medical/life sciences, and human factor disciplines. Presently, he is applying the majority of his attention to the application of systems engineering approaches to the analysis of medical adverse events and the development and implementation of suitable corrective actions that will enhance patient safety primarily through preventive means. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Bagian is a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bagian has served on numerous NRC committees, including the Task Group on Research on the International Space Station, the Committee on Space Biology and Medicine , the Review of NASA Strategic Roadmaps: Space Station Panel, the Committee on NASA’s Bioastronautics Critical Path Roadmap, the Committee on Optimizing Graduate Medical Trainee (Resident) Hours and Work Schedules to Improve Patient Safety and the Microgravity Decadal Survey Panel.
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JEFF M. BINGHAM is a consultant. He is retired from the U.S. Senate where he served as chief of staff for Senator Jake Garn (R-UT), from December 1974 to August 1990 and throughout that service was heavily involved in the Senator's space-related activity, as Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate VA-HUD-IA Subcommittee on Appropriations, which had responsibility for NASA appropriations. From September of 1990 to April 1991, Mr. Bingham was a NASA consultant and participant in the Synthesis Group, chaired by former astronaut General Tom Stafford, charged with developing alternative architectures for missions to the moon and mars under the Space Exploration Initiative. From May 1991 to July 1994, Mr. Bingham was a senior policy analyst for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and supported the Johnson Space Center in strategic planning and exploration policy activities. In 1994, Mr. Bingham became the legislative coordinator for the International Space Station Program, serving in that role until September 1996. From April 1996 to April 1999, he managed the Space Station Information Center (aka "War Room") at NASA Headquarters. In December 2000, Mr. Bingham supported the Bush-Cheney NASA Transition Team, and in January 2001 was appointed by the White House Personnel Office as special assistant to NASA chief of staff Courtney A. Stadd. From May 2001 to May 2002, Mr. Bingham served as acting associate administrator, then as associate administrator for legislative affairs, at NASA Headquarters. In May 2002, he was appointed senior advisor/special assistant to the NASA administrator for policy and history. Mr. Bingham left NASA in April, 2004, and spent a year writing, speaking and consulting. In April, 2005, Mr. Bingham accepted the appointment as Staff director for the Subcommittee on Science and Space of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which had authorization and oversight jurisdiction for NASA and the National Science Foundation. With the reorganization of the 110th Congress, Mr. Bingham became the senior republican staff member and staff director of the reconstituted Subcommittee on Space, Aeronautics and Related Sciences. In the 111th Congress Mr. Bingham assumed the role of senior advisor on space and aeronautics, republican staff, of the full committee on commerce, science, and transportation, with additional lead responsibility for space programs in the jurisdiction of the subcommittee. During his tenure at the committee, Mr. Bingham had the lead republican staff responsibility for preparing the content and securing the passage and enactment of the 2005, 2008 and 2010 NASA Authorization Acts, which established the foundation and authority for NASA’s evolving—and current—programs. He has a B.S. in political science from the University of Utah.
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MARY LYNNE DITTMAR is CEO and senior consultant of Dittmar Associates, Inc., an engineering and consulting firm headquartered in Houston, Texas with operations in Washington, D.C. Previously, Dr. Dittmar managed International Space Station Mission Operations and Spaceflight Training for the Boeing Company and later served as Boeing’s chief scientist and senior manager for their Commercial Space Payloads Program. More recently she has served as an executive consultant for a variety of aerospace companies and for NASA. She specializes in models for public/private partnerships, commercialization, strategic planning, strategic communications, and organizational alignment and development. Dr. Dittmar is published in a variety of fields and is the author of The Market Study for Space Exploration, a groundbreaking demographic analysis of American attitudes toward NASA and human spaceflight. She has written a number of papers on the space economy and on the impact of regulatory frameworks on emerging sectors such as the commercial spaceflight industry. In 2013 she led development of the Strategic Plan for the International Space Station National Laboratory. Dr. Dittmar earned a Ph.D. in human factors from the University of Cincinnati. She has served on the NRC’s Committee on Human Spaceflight.
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JOSEPH FULLER, JR. is the retired founder, president, and CEO of Futron Corporation, a leader in providing decision management solutions to aerospace, telecommunications, and other technology enterprises. Before founding Futron, Mr. Fuller spent 20 years at NASA as an aerospace systems engineer, project manager, and senior executive. He is experienced in the design, development, and operations of both human-piloted and robotic spacecraft. Today, through his company, he is actively engaged in wide-ranging government, commercial, and international aerospace initiatives. Mr. Fuller is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and a former member of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the NRC. He currently serves on NOAA’s Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, NASA’s Project Management (APPEL) Mission Operations Working Group, and on the board of the Challenger Center for Science Education. He has a B.S. in physics from Texas Southern University and an M.B.A. from the University of Houston. He has served on a number of NRC activities including: Committee on Cost Growth in NASA Earth and Space Science Missions; Committee on NASA's Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation; and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.
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THOMAS R. GAVIN is special assistant to the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to his current role, he was the interim director for solar system exploration at JPL. In addition, Mr. Gavin served as associate director for flight projects and mission success at JPL to provide oversight of flight projects and the mission success organization. Prior to that appointment he was director of the Space Science Flight Projects Directorate which included the development of Genesis, Stardust, Mars 2001 Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rovers, SPITZER and GALEX Projects. In June 1990 he was appointed Spacecraft System Manager for the Cassini Mission (currently in orbit of Saturn) and remained in that position until the successful launch of Cassini 1997. Mr. Gavin received NASA's Exceptional Service Medal in 1981 for his work on Voyager, NASA's Medal for Outstanding Leadership in 1991 for Galileo and in 1999 for Cassini. Mr. Gavin received the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 2004 in recognition of outstanding and sustained engineering and management contributions to space exploration, and the American Astronautical Society 2005 Randolph Lovelace II Award for leading the management, design, and operations of all JPL and NASA robotic scientific spacecraft missions since from 2001 until retirement in 2009. He received NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2007 for his leadership in the development of NPR 7120.5, a policy document that affects all of NASA’s space flight missions. In 2009 he received a second Distinguished Service Medal for his contributions to NASA. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from Villanova University. His previous NRC committee service is with the Space Studies Board.
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NEIL GEHRELS (NAS) is the chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Md. He is also a College Park professor of astronomy, at the University of Maryland and an adjunct professor of astronomy & astrophysics at Pennsylvania State University. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Academy of Sciences. Gehrels is the Principal Investigator of the NASA Swift satellite observing gamma-ray burst and supernova explosions. He is a deputy project scientist for Fermi, project scientist for WFIRST and previous project scientist for the Compton Observatory (1991-2000). He has organized nine major conferences and been an editor on the proceedings books, has over 500 articles in science journals and popular science magazines, and given many invited talks. He has been on 20 working groups and committees in various positions. Committees, societies, etc. include chair of the Astronomy Section of the NAS, past chair of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) High Energy Astrophysics Division, past Chair of the American Physical Society Division of Astrophysics and past chair of COSPAR Commission E. Numerous awards have been bestowed upon Dr. Gehrels including the COSPAR Massey award in 2012, SPIE Goddard award 2009, NAS Draper Medal in 2009, AAS Bruno Rossi Prize in 2007, Popular Science Magazine's "Best of What's New award" for Swift satellite research in 2006, and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2005. Dr. Gehrels received his B.S. in physics, and music from the University of Arizona and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. He serves on the NRC’s U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union.
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SARAH GIBSON is a senior scientist at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. She is head of the Long-term Solar Variability (LSV) Section of HAO. Dr. Gibson’s positions prior to her arrival at HAO included a 1-year visit to Cambridge University as a NATO/NSF post-doctoral fellow, and nearly 4 years at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center—first as a National Research Council (NRC) associate and then as a research assistant professor at the Catholic University of America. Her research centers on solar drivers of the terrestrial environment, from short-term space weather drivers such as coronal mass ejections (with emphasis on precursor magnetic structure), to long-term solar cycle variation (with emphasis on the Sun-Earth system at solar minimum). She has led and coordinated international working groups on both of these subjects for the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) and International Astronomical Union (IAU). Dr. Gibson was the recipient of the AAS-SPD 2005 Karen Harvey Prize. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of IAU Division E (Sun and Heliosphere) and the Solar Physics Journal Editorial Board, and in past years was a scientific editor for the Astrophysical Journal, and served on the Heliophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council and the AURA Solar Observatory Council. Dr. Gibson obtained her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She served on the NRC Committee for a Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics), the Committee on Solar and Space Physics, the Committee to Review NASA Science Mission Directorate 2014 Science Plan, the Committee on Distributed Arrays of Small Instruments for Research and Monitoring in Solar-Terrestrial Physics: A Workshop, and the Astro2010 Panel on Radio, Millimeter, and Submillimeter from the Ground.
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WESLEY T. HUNTRESS, JR., is director emeritus of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington having retired from this position in 2008. Dr. Huntress began his career at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as an NRC resident associate before joining JPL permanently in 1969 as a research scientist specializing in ion chemistry and astrochemistry. At JPL, Dr. Huntress and his research group gained international recognition for their pioneering studies of chemical evolution in interstellar clouds, comets, and planetary atmospheres. In addition, he served as a co-investigator for the Ion Mass Spectrometer experiment in the Giotto Halley’s Comet mission, as the Coma Interdisciplinary Scientist for the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby mission, and as JPL study scientist for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite and Cassini missions. In 1990 Dr. Huntress was appointed as director of NASA’s Solar System Exploration Division, and in 1993 he became the NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science before leaving for Carnegie in 1998. Dr. Huntress was president of the Planetary Society (2001-2006) and member of its board of directors until 2012. He is the recipient of a number of honors, including the NASA Distinguished Service and Exceptional Public Service Medals. Dr. Huntress served as chair of the NASA Advisory Council Science Committee until 2013. Dr. Huntress earned his B.S. in chemistry at Brown University in 1964, and his Ph.D. in chemical physics at Stanford University in 1968. His NRC experience includes membership on the Division Committee on Engineering and Physical Sciences, the Solar System Exploration Survey Steering Group, and as a member of the Committee on Planetary Science Decadal Survey: 2013-2022.
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ANTHONY C. JANETOS is the director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer Range Future and professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University. Previously, he served as director of the Joint global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, where for six years he oversaw an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists, engineers and social scientists committed to understanding the problems of global climate change and their potential solutions. Earlier, he was a senior research fellow at the h. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment. In 1999, he joined the World Resources Institute as senior vice president and chief of program. Previously, he served as senior scientist for the Land Cove and Land Use Change Program in NASA’s Office of Earth Science and was program scientist for the Landsat 7 mission. He had many years of experience in managing scientific research programs on a variety of ecologic and environmental topics, including air pollution effects on forests, climate change impacts, land-use change, ecosystem modeling, and the global carbon cycle. He was a co-chair of the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of climate Variability and Change and an author of Land-Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry (an IPCC special report) and global Biodiversity Assessment. Dr. Janetos received his B.S. in biology from Harvard University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University. Prior NRC experience includes serving on the survey committee for the 2007 decadal survey on Earth science and applications from space, the Committee on Ecological Impacts of Climate Change, the Committee on Socioeconomic Scenarios for Climate Change Impact and Response Assessments and the Climate Research Committee. Dr. Janetos is currently a member of the Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate.
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CHRYSSA KOUVELIOTOU (NAS) is a professor of astrophysics in the Department of Physics at the George Washington University (GWU). She recently retired from her position as a senior scientist for High-Energy Astrophysics at NASA/MSFC to join GWU, where she will build and lead a new center of Astrophysics, focusing on Time Domain Astronomy in multiple wavelengths, including data from space missions (such as Fermi, Swift, XMM, Chandra, NuSTAR, HST) and ground based observatories (such as VLA, LOFAR, WSRT, VLT, Gemini). Dr. Kouveliotou’s research interests include high-energy astrophysical transients, in particular gamma ray bursts and magnetars, which she discovered in 1998; she has also published papers in X-ray binaries, solar flares and merging galaxy clusters. Dr. Kouveliotou has been a co-investigator of BATSE/CGRO, Fermi/GBM, and she is an affiliated scientist of Swift. She is currently supported by NASA for her participation in two working groups of the European Space Agency’s ATHENA mission. She is the recipient of the Descartes Prize, the Rossi and Heinemann Prizes, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal; she holds two honorary degrees from Sussex University and from the University of Amsterdam; she is an American Physics Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. She served in the AAS/HEAD, and she is currently the senior vice president of the American Astronomical Society. She has held several committee and board positions and she recently chaired the NASA Astrophysics Roadmap Team. She earned her Ph.D. from the Technical University of Munich in Germany for astrophysics. She has served on the NRC’s U.S. National Committee for the International Astronomical Union, the U.S. Liaison Committee for the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics.
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SAUL PERLMUTTER (NAS) is a professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley and a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Perlmutter heads the Supernova Cosmology Project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and it was this team that found evidence of the accelerating expansion of the universe based on observing Type Ia supernova in the distant universe. His research findings have led to new understandings of the nature of the universe, including dark matter and dark energy. For this work, he was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, shared jointly with Riess and Schmidt. Dr. Perlmutter is also a lead investigator in the Supernova/Acceleration Probe project, which aims to build a satellite dedicated to finding and studying more supernovae in the distant universe. He is director of the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics (BCCP) as well as the Berkeley Institute for Data Sciences (BIDS). He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Physics Society. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in physics at the University of California, Berkeley.
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LOUISE M. PROCKTER is a Principal Professional Staff scientist in the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. She received her Ph.D. in Planetary Geology from Brown University. Her research interests include examination and comparison of the processes of lithosphere formation on the Earth and Jupiter's large icy satellites. She was an Imaging Team Associate on the Galileo and NEAR missions, and is a Co-Investigator and served as Deputy Project Scientist on the MESSENGER mission to Mercury. She is currently part of the Project Science management team for the Europa Multiple-Flyby flagship mission. Dr. Prockter has served on numerous NRC committees, including the Planetary Science Decadal Survey: Satellites Panel, the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, Panel on Solar System Exploration and the Review of NASA Strategic Roadmaps: Science Panel. She has also recently served on the NASA Planetary Science Subcommittee and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.
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MARK H THIEMENS (NAS) is dean of physical sciences, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and Chancellor's Associates Chair in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego. His research is centered on use of the mass independent fractionation process for stable isotopes to study the origin and evolution of the solar system, definition of the source and transformation of greenhouse gases in the troposphere, chemistry of the stratosphere and mesosphere, chemistry of the ancient Martian atmosphere, and the origin and evolution of oxygen-ozone and life in the Earth's Precambrian. He earned his Ph.D. in geophysics from Florida State University. His extensive NRC service includes membership on the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, PNAS Editorial Board, and the Committee on the Review of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample-Return Missions.
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is director of the Center for Meteorite Studies and professor of geological sciences at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Her research interests focus on deciphering the origin and evolution of the solar system and planetary bodies through geochemical and isotopic investigations. She uses high-precision mass spectrometric techniques to study a wide range of solar system materials including meteorites of martian and asteroidal origin, Moon rocks (from the Apollo missions and lunar meteorites), and other samples returned by spacecraft missions. Dr. Wadhwa is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship (2005) and the Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society (2000), which is awarded for outstanding research by a young scientist. Asteroid 8356 has been named 8356 Wadhwa in recognition of her contributions to planetary science. She recently chaired NASA’s Curation and Analysis Planning Team for Extraterrestrial Materials. She has a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University. Dr. Wadhwa has served on several NRC committees, including the NRC Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life, the Committee on an Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars, and the Committee on the Review of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample-Return Missions.
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THOMAS H. ZURBUCHEN is a professor of space science and engineering in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at the University of Michigan (UM). He is also the associate dean for entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. At UM, Dr. Zurbuchen is leading the Solar and Heliospheric Research Group, which focuses on solar and space physics through novel experiments, data analysis, and theoretical methods. This group has been actively involved in ACE, WIND, Ulyssees, MESSENGER, and Solar Orbiter. Dr. Zurbuchens research interests include instruments that measure the composition of plasmas in the heliosphere, new particle detection technologies suitable for future space missions, theoretical concepts and experimental exploration methods of interaction between the heliosphere and local interstellar medium, and developing and analyzing space mission architectures for various exploration and commercial applications. Dr. Zurbuchen is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career for Scientists and Engineers Award. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Bern, Switzerland. He served on the NRC’s Panel on the Sun and Heliospheric Physics, the Plasma Science Committee, the Workshop Organizing Committee on Solar Systems Radiation Environment and NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration. Dr. Zurbuchen has also served as vice chair of the Committee on Solar and Space Physics.
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