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Fly me to the Moon… and extrasolar planets!

Posted on Mar 2, 2016 by in The OFI Blog |


Aomawa Shields

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CFA) Fellow Aomawa Shields has been recently announced as the recipient of the 2016 Origins Project Postdoctoral Lectureship Award. This grant is the largest of its kind in the world and is offered to the most promising scholars dedicated to exploring the fundamental questions about humankind’s origins.

Aomawa holds a PhD in Astronomy and Astrobiology from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT. Her research focuses on the climate and potential habitability of extrasolar planets orbiting low-mass stars. In 2014 she was appointed as a NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at CFA where she continued to pursue her goals as an aspiring scholar addressing the global challenges of the 21st century. Besides her scientific work contributions Ms Shields has an impressive record of community outreach efforts, including the foundation of Rising Stargirls, an organization dedicated to engaging girls of all colors and backgrounds in exploration of the universe.

As part of her Origins Project Postdoctoral Lectureship Award Ms Shields will hold a series of departmental colloquia and a large public lecture at Arizona State University in early April. To find out more read the original article at the Origins Project website or watch the inspirational TED talk by Aomawa to discover her passion.