2014 Jansky Lecturer

Dr. Jill Tarter Awarded the 2014 Jansky Lectureship

Dr. Jill Tarter

Dr. Jill Tarter (image courtesy of SETI.org)

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is pleased to announce that Dr. Jill Tarter has been selected to present the 49th annual Jansky Lecture, entitled: Are We Alone? Searching for Intelligent Life Beyond Earth.

This free event takes place at our three facilities: On Oct 27th at 7pm at the Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesvile, VA (American Sign Language/spoken English interpreting services provided); at 7pm on Oct 30 in the Green Bank Science Center Auditorium in Green Bank, West Virginia; and at 7:30pm on Nov 7 at the Macey Center on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico.

About Dr. Tarter

Dr. Jill Tarter has been central to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) throughout the bulk of her career. She is the Bernard Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, and is the former Director of the Center for SETI Research. Jill is being honored for her role in pioneering methods for searching for extraterrestrial intelligence using radio techniques, as well as her leadership in the emerging field of astrobiology.

Jill received a Bachelor of Engineering Physics with Distinction from Cornell and went on to receive her Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley. She is credited with coining the term “brown dwarf” to refer to substellar objects that fail to achieve hydrogen burning in their cores. She served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey. The SETI Institute was founded in 1984; Jill was one of its founding members and continues to serve as a trustee. Following the termination of funding for NASA’s SETI program in 1993, she served in a leadership role to secure private funding to continue the search, serving as Director of Project Phoenix under the auspices of the SETI Institute.

Jill has received numerous awards in recognition of her achievements: to name a few, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award by Women in Aerospace in 1989, was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2002 and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in 2003; she received the Adler Planetarium Women in Space Science Award in 2003; and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004.

Jill is deeply involved in the education of future citizens and scientists. In addition to her scientific leadership at NASA and the SETI Institute, she has been the Principal Investigator for two curriculum development projects funded by NSF, NASA, and others: the Life in the Universe series of science teaching guides for grades 3-9, and Voyages Through Time, an integrated high school science curriculum on the fundamental theme of evolution. Jill is a frequent speaker at science teacher meetings and museums/science centers, bringing her commitment to science and education to both teachers and the public.

Please join me in welcoming Jill to NRAO.

Tony Beasley

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