Laboratory Astrophysics Division Plenary Speaker
Edwin (Ted) Bergin is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Michigan. In 2019 he was awarded the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics by the AAS and AIP "for his pioneering work in astrochemistry and innovative contributions to our understanding of the physics and chemistry of star and planet formation, and for his tireless efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in astronomy." Bergin's research focus is on using chemistry to explore the origins of stars and planets. His work ultimately aims at understanding whether the supply of life's needed chemicals is preordained to form an Earth-like world, or whether it's a rare outcome.
Julia Blue Bird is a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico. Her main research interest is focused on galaxy evolution across cosmic time with measurements of galactic gas reservoirs from the COSMOS HI Large Extragalactic Survey (CHILES) using the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. As an Oglála Lakȟóta born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Julia is building holistic pathways for students that celebrate and elevate Indigenous knowledge with a bridge to traditional science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education.
2023 Karen Harvey Prize
Bin Chen is an associate professor of physics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His research has centered on energetic phenomena on the Sun, including solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and jets. He is also keen on developing novel radio instrumentation and techniques, and pioneered the use of broadband radio imaging spectropolarimetry to study the Sun. He is the Co-PI of the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array, a state-of-the-art radio interferometer dedicated to solar observing, and has led many solar observing programs with the Jansky Very Large Array. He received the 2023 Karen Harvey Prize from the Solar Physics Division for significantly advancing the studies of magnetic reconnection and particle acceleration through his groundbreaking research of solar flares.
Kathryne Daniel is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, Steward Observatory. Daniel’s research focuses on a broad range of problems in galactic dynamics including resonant phenomena such as radial migration, developing novel orbital analysis techniques, and using chrono-chemodynamics to reveal the dynamical history of the Milky Way. Daniel is a co-Founder and co-Director of the Society of Indigenous Physicists. She is also a Deputy Director for the next generation gravitational wave experiment, Cosmic Explorer, where she leads the Indigenous Partnership Program as part of an effort to re-conceptualize facility design from conception to divestment.
2023 George Ellery Hale Prize
George Fisher, currently at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, has spent most of his career doing research on the Sun. His efforts have focused on understanding the dynamics in solar and stellar atmospheres during flares, studying how magnetic fields in the solar interior emerge to the Sun's surface and form active regions, developing observational constraints on how the Sun's corona is heated, and leading an effort to drive a model of the Sun's corona from sequences of magnetic field observations at the Sun's photosphere. He is awarded the 2023 George Ellery Hale Prize in recognition of these accomplishments.
2023 Laboratory Astrophysics Prize
For nearly four decades, Reggie Hudson has been a leading figure in the infrared spectroscopy and radiation chemistry of extraterrestrial ices. Hudson was one of the first to show that upon energetic processing of ice analogues, new species can form through solid-state reactions and that they can be identified and quantified by infrared spectroscopy. He has spent many years developing a library of the optical properties and spectroscopic features of astronomical ice analogues, which have found important applications to space- and ground-based observations. This work will be great service to the astrochemistry community as it aims to identify ice features in JWST observations.
Jeyhan Kartaltepe is an associate professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she is a faculty member in the School of Physics and Astronomy and Program Coordinator for the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology PhD program. Her work focuses on the evolution of galaxies over cosmic time using multiwavelength data from various ground- and space-based facilities. She is interested in how the first galaxies formed in the universe and how their structures grew over time to form today's galaxies, and in particular, the role of galaxy mergers in shaping their growth. Currently, she is a co-I on several large extragalactic deep-field surveys using JWST, including CEERS, NGDEEP, and PRIMER and is a PI of the largest Cycle 1 program, COSMOS-Web.
Joel Kastner is a Professor at Rochester (NY) Institute of Technology, where he serves on the faculties of RIT's Center for Imaging Science and School of Physics & Astronomy. He received his PhD in Astronomy from UCLA in 1990, and then spent nearly a decade at MIT, at Haystack Radio Observatory and then the Chandra X-ray Science Center, before arriving at RIT. His research focuses on the early and late stages of stellar evolution (stellar pediatrics and geriatrics, as it were) from a multiwavelength observational perspective. Specific interests include identifying and studying the nearest known examples of pre-main sequence stars and protoplanetary disks, and investigating the process of stellar mass loss via studies of evolved stars spanning a wide range of masses, evolutionary states, and binarity classes. He was honored and humbled to be included among the Legacy Fellows of the AAS.
John O’Meara is the Chief Scientist and Deputy Director of the W. M. Keck Observatory. His research focuses on the intergalactic and circumgalactic medium, using telescopes across the world and in orbit. John was the Cosmic Origins science lead for the LUVOIR mission concept study. A science policy wonk, John first began his activities advocating for astronomy as a AAS Congressional Visits Day participant. He has served on multiple advisory committees, including as a chair of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee, and he is a member of the AAS Committee on Astronomy and Public Policy.
Klaus Pontoppidan is an associate astronomer and the JWST Project Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute. He has worked on the evolution of water and other volatiles, from ices in the interstellar medium to rocky planet-forming regions around young stars, to understand the origins of exoplanetary atmospheres. To this end, he has contributed to the development of infrared spectroscopic techniques and instrumentation, and is currently leading various JWST programs, including the JDISC public survey of protoplanetary disk chemistry. Pontoppidan has also made significant contributions to public outreach, including as the PI of the first color images from JWST.
2023 LAD Early Career Award
James Schroeder received his PhD in Physics from the University of Iowa in 2017 under the supervision of Professors Gregory Howes, Craig Kletzing, and Fred Skif. He stayed on at the University of Iowa as Postdoctoral Researcher and then Assistant Research Scientist. In 2018, he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Physics at Wheaton College. He received a DoE National Undergraduate Fellowship for Summer Research at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in 2008 and in 2013 received both an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for which he decided to accept the former. In 2018, he received a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, but opted to take the faculty position at Wheaton College. He is currently a Co-Investigator on a NASA Heliophysics Technology and Technology Development grant.
Fred Kavli Plenary Lecture
Dan Scolnic is an assistant professor in Physics at Duke University. He has led multiple cosmological analyses with Type Ia supernovae using both ground and space-based telescopes and has helped make some of the most precise measurements of the nature of dark energy to date. His talk will be on behalf of the Pantheon+SH0ES team, which has made the leading measurements of the current expansion rate of the universe, and whose results are at the center of the much-discussed 'Hubble Tension'.
Linda Shore is the CEO of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), spearheading programs that support the society's mission to increase science literacy through astronomy. Prior to coming to the ASP, Linda was a Staff Scientist and Director of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. During her 20-year tenure at this groundbreaking science museum, she brought astronomy to the exhibit floor, led public astronomy events, and helped teachers bring innovative astronomy learning experiences to students. Linda is the author of numerous popular science articles on astronomy and co-author of several astronomy activity books, including the award winning “Exploratorium Science Explorer” series as well as the ASP’s “Total Skywatchers Manual.”
Greg Taylor is a Distinguished Professor of physics and astronomy at the University of New Mexico, where he is also the Founding Director of the Long Wavelength Array and the Director of the Center for Astrophysical Research and Technologies. Before that he spent over a decade at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, New Mexico. Prof. Taylor's research interests include meteors, space weather, pulsars, radio afterglows from gamma-ray bursts, and active galaxies and their environments. He is also keen on developing new radio astronomy instrumentation and data analysis techniques.
Meenakshi (Mini) Wadhwa is a planetary scientist and cosmochemist interested in the time scales and processes involved in the formation and evolution of the Solar System and planets. She is director and Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. She is also Principal Scientist for the NASA/ESA Mars Sample Return program. She participated recently as an Initial Analysis Chemistry Team member of JAXA’s Hayabusa2 mission that returned samples of asteroid Ryugu in December 2020. She was awarded the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2022, and was the recipient of the J. Lawrence Smith medal of the National Academy of Sciences in 2021.
2023 LAD Dissertation Prize
Katarina Yocum graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in January 2022. As a graduate research assistant for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center through the Widicus Weaver Group, Yocum primarily studied developing new techniques to study cosmic ice chemistry.