Cathy Olkin

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Cathy Olkin
Cathy Olkin (NHQ201812310005).jpg
Alma materMIT
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorJames L. Elliot
WebsiteCathy Olkin

Cathy Olkin is a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, focusing on the outer solar system. She is deputy principal investigator for NASA's Lucy mission examining the Trojan asteroids around Jupiter,[1] to launch in 2021 and fly past its targets between 2025 and 2033.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Olkin was born and raised in Michigan. As a child, Olkin considered a variety of careers in science and academia, including geologist, paleontologist, archaeologist, and doctor.[3]

In college, she was pre-med before switching to engineering,[3] earning a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1988, then an M.S., also in Aeronautics and Astronautics, from Stanford University in 1989. Olkin then returned to MIT where she earned a Ph.D. in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science in 1996.[4] Her dissertation advisor was James L. Elliot.[5]

Career[edit]

Olkin was a deputy project scientist on NASA's New Horizons team responsible for the July 2015 flyby of Pluto[3][6] and became co-principal investigator for New Horizons' Ralph instrument, a color camera and near-infrared imaging spectrometer.[7][8]

She is deputy principal investigator for NASA's Lucy mission examining the Trojan asteroids around Jupiter,[1] to launch in 2021 and fly past its targets between 2025 and 2033.[2]

Olkin's scientific research has earned an h-index of 24.[9] She has published over 400 papers, with more than 2,000 citations.[9]

She is also the author of the title story "All These Wonders" in The Moth radio show's 20th anniversary collection, The Moth Presents: All These Wonders. True Stories About Facing the Unknown;[10] reviewing the collection in The New York Times. Michiko Kakutani described Olkin's contribution as "a thrilling account...of last-minute emergency repairs made to the New Horizons spacecraft as it traveled three billion miles to get a close-up of Pluto."[11]

Olkin also engages in public outreach.[12] In 2015, Olkin shared discoveries from her work with NASA's New Horizons mission at a TEDxDetroit talk.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Franz, Julia (January 29, 2017). "Two new NASA missions look to asteroids for clues about our early solar system". Public Radio International. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "NASA Selects Mission to Study Jupiter's Trojan Asteroids". NASA. January 4, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Crigger, Megan (July 24, 2015). "Meet three scientists behind the Pluto mission". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Cathy Olkin - Experience & Education". www.boulder.swri.edu. Southwest Research Institute. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  5. ^ Beatty, Kelly (2011-03-10). "Remembering James Elliot, 1943–2011". Sky & Telescope. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  6. ^ Talbert, Tricia (2016-03-21). "New Horizons: Peering into Pluto's Past". NASA. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  7. ^ "Commanding the Eyes of New Horizons | Pluto New Horizons". blogs.nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Meet three scientists behind the Pluto mission". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  9. ^ a b "Cathy Olkin". scholar.google.com. Google Scholar Citations. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  10. ^ Williams, Mary Elizabeth (April 28, 2017). "The Moth's artistic director on the storyteller inside us all: "Most people do have something beautiful to say"". Salon. Retrieved May 29, 2017.
  11. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (2017-04-03). "Stories of Wonder, Fear and Kindness From the Moth". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  12. ^ "Public Outreach". www.boulder.swri.edu. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  13. ^ TEDx Talks (2015-11-16), Pluto Revealed | Cathy Olkin | TEDxDetroit, retrieved 2018-08-09