Lucianne Walkowicz

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Lucianne Walkowicz
Lucianne Walkowicz Becoming Interplanetary.jpg
Lucianne Walkowicz hosting the "Becoming Interplanetary" NASA/Library of Congress Symposium in 2019
Alma materJohns Hopkins University
University of Washington
Spouse(s)Frank Okay
Scientific career
InstitutionsUC Berkeley
Princeton University
Adler Planetarium
ThesisSelf-Consistent Quiescent Model Atmospheres for M Dwarfs (2008)
Doctoral advisorSuzanne L. Hawley

Lucianne Walkowicz (born 1979) is an American astronomer based at the Adler Planetarium noted for her research contributions in stellar magnetic activity and its impact on planetary suitability for extraterrestrial life.[1][2]


Since 2008, she has been the chair of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Transients and Variable Stars collaboration and is the founding director of the LSST Data Science Fellowship program.[3][4][5] She is internationally recognized for her advocacy for conservation of dark night skies, and was named a 2011 National Academy of Science Kavli Fellow and a 2012 TED Senior Fellow.[6][4]

In 2017, she was named the fifth Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.[7] She began her tenure October 1, 2017, working on a project titled “Fear of a Green Planet: Inclusive Systems of Thought for Human Exploration of Mars.”[7][8] Her project aims to create an inclusive framework for human exploration of Mars, encompassing both cutting-edge research on Mars as a place of essential astrobiological significance, while weaving in lessons from the diverse histories of exploration on Earth.[7][8]

Walkowicz holds a BS in physics and astronomy from Johns Hopkins University, and an MS and PhD in astronomy from the University of Washington. She got her taste for astronomy as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins, testing detectors for the Hubble Space Telescope’s new camera.[9]

Public appearances[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

Asteroid 205599 Walkowicz, discovered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in 2001, was named in her honor.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 17 November 2013 (M.P.C. 85914).[12]


  1. ^ Burke, Cassie Walker (15 July 2015). "Meet Lucianne Walkowicz, an astronomer who's on the hunt for extraterrestrial life". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b "205599 Walkowicz (2001 TE243)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  3. ^ Scoles, Sarah (23 March 2017). "Astronomers Don't Point This Telescope—The Telescope Points Them". Wired. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Lucianne Walkowicz". The White House Frontiers Conference. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  5. ^ Kahn, Steven M. "The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope" (PDF). Future and Science of the Gemini Observatory Meeting. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  6. ^ "Lucianne Walkowicz". TED. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b c "Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology | The John W. Kluge Center - Library of Congress". Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  8. ^ a b "NASA Astrobiology". Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  9. ^ "Daily Exchange - Posting". Retrieved 2018-06-02.
  10. ^ "Lucianne Walkowicz". IMDb. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Lucianne Walkowicz". IMDb. Retrieved 25 June 2017.
  12. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 August 2019.

External links[edit]