Dr. Claudia Alexander is available to visit with PC students on Wednesday, February 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Hacienda room. You are welcome to attend!
Dr. Alexander is a research scientist specializing in geophysics and planetary science. Dr. Alexander has worked for the United States Geological Survey and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As a member of the technical staff at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, she was the last project manager of NASA’s Galileo mission to Jupiter, and is currently the project manager and scientist of NASA’s role in the European lead Rosetta mission to study Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The Rosetta mission was launched in 2004 and arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 6, 2014. It is the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander to its surface. Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA.
Dr. Alexander’s bio
Originally, Dr. Alexander wanted to be a journalist, but her parents wanted her to become an engineer. After a summer job at the Ames Research Center, she became interested in planetary science. Although she had been hired to work in the engineering section, she would sneak off to the science section where she found that not only was she good at work, but that it was easier and more enjoyable to her than she expected.
In 1983, she received a bachelors from the University of California–Berkeley in geophysics. Alexander earned her masters from the University of California–Los Angeles in geophysics and space physics in 1985. She earned her Ph.D. in physics of space plasma from the University of Michigan in 1993, where she was named Woman of the Year.
Dr. Alexander worked at the U.S. Geological Survey studying plate tectonics and the Ames Research Center observing Jovian moons, before moving to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1986. She worked as a science coordinator for the plasma wave instrument aboard the Galileo spacecraft before becoming the project manager of the Galileo mission.
Dr. Alexander has worked as a researcher on diverse topics, including: the evolution and interior physics of comets, Jupiter and its moons, magnetospheres, plate tectonics, space plasms, the discontinuities and explanation of solar wind, and planet Venus. She has written or co-authored fourteen papers.
In 2003, she was awarded the Emerald Honor for Women of Color in Research and Engineering by Career Communications Group, Inc.–publisher of Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine–at the National Women of Color Reserach Sciences and Technology Conference. Dr. Alexander is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the Association for Women Geoscientists.
Here is a recent article (written on November 10th) published in the Los Angeles Times.