Nikole K. Lewis
NIKOLE K. LEWIS is an assistant professor at Cornell University. She is also deputy director of the Carl Sagan Institute. She probes exoplanet atmospheres using a combination of observational and theoretical techniques. Lewis is involved with a number of ground and space based observational campaigns aimed at characterizing exoplanet atmospheres. Lewis was a Sagan Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the James Webb Space Telescope Project Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute before arriving at Cornell. She received her B.S. in physics and mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, her M.A. in astronomy from Boston University, and her Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona. She has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
BRUCE MACINTOSH is a professor of physics at Stanford University. His research focuses on the detection of extrasolar planets through direct imaging, and on using adaptive optics to shape the wavefronts of light for a variety of applications. Macintosh is a co-discoverer of four planets orbiting the star HR 8799 and is the principal investigator of the Gemini Planet Imager, an advance adaptive optics planet-finder for the Gemini South Telescope. He received his Ph.D. in astronomy at University of California, Los Angeles. Macintosh has served on the Academies’ Astro2010 Panel on Optical and Infrared Astronomy from the Ground, the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, the Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy, and the Committee on the Review of Progress Toward the Decadal Survey Vision in New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
AMY MAINZER is a professor at the University of Arizona in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. She previously served as a senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the astrophysics division. At JPL, she served as the principal investigator for the NEOWISE mission, which is a NASA spacecraft dedicated to observing near-Earth asteroids and comets using a thermal infrared space telescope. As the NEOWISE principal investigator, her research focuses on characterizing the population of asteroids and comets through statistical measurements of their sizes, orbits, albedos, and rotational states. The mission began life as the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and its original purpose was to carry out an all-sky survey at four infrared wavelengths from 3 – 22 microns. Mainzer served as the deputy project scientist for the WISE mission; her responsibilities included flowing down top-level science requirements to the WISE payload components, interpreting payload verification test data, and designing the in-orbit checkout procedures. She has received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement medal for her work on near-Earth objects and the NASA Exceptional Achievement medal for her work on NEOWISE. Prior to joining JPL, Mainzer worked as a systems engineer at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto. Mainzer is also the principal investigator of a NASA Discovery mission proposal, the Near-Earth Object Camera. She is a member of the NASA Planetary Science Subcommittee. She has previously served on an Academies committee.
Mark P. Saunders
MARK P. SAUNDERS is an independent consultant. Since retiring from NASA in December 2008, he has been consulting to various NASA offices providing program/project management and systems engineering expertise. This has included support to the Office of Chief Engineer, the Office of Independent Program and Cost Evaluation, the Mars Program and the Science Office for Mission Assessments (at Langley Research Center). He has participated in the rewriting of NASA’s policy on program/project management; advised and supported the Agency’s independent program/project review process; and has supported the review of various programs and projects. At NASA headquarters he served as director of the independent program assessment office, where he was responsible for enabling the independent review of the Agency’s programs and projects at life cycle milestones to ensure the highest probability of mission success. At the Office of Space Science he served as program manager for the Discovery Program. He received the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 2008, Outstanding Performance awards: 1982, 1994- 2008, and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals in 1998, 2004, 2006. He earned his B.A. in industrial engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has served on the Academies’ Committee for Astrobiology and Planetary Science.
Evgenya L. Shkolnik
EVGENYA L. SHKOLNIK is an associate professor of astrophysics at Arizona State University in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. She is an expert on exoplanets and stars, including the Sun, and studies stellar activity and star-planet interactions using ground and space telescopes to answer questions involving stellar evolution, exoplanet magnetic fields, and planet habitability. She is the principal investigator (PI) of the NASA Star-Planet Activity Research CubeSat (SPARCS) mission, and PI of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)’s Habitable Zones and M Dwarf Activity Across Time (HAZMAT) program. Asteroid Shkolnik (25156) was named for her. Shkolnik is also a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute Virtual Planetary Laboratory, and is on several science and technology advisory committees for upcoming space missions. Shkolnik previously was an astronomer at Lowell Observatory, a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. She earned her Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of British Columbia. She previously served on the Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy.
GEORGE SONNEBORN was an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center with 37 years experience in design, development, and operation of space telescopes. Before retiring from the Agency in 2018 he was the Project Scientist for Operations for the James Webb Space Telescope. Prior to that he was the Hubble Space Telescope Acting Senior Project Scientist and the Project Scientist for the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer. His research interests are supernovae, massive stars, and the atomic abundances in the interstellar medium. He is a member of the AAS and IAU. He received a Ph.D. in astronomy from Ohio State University. He has not previously served on an Academies committee.
C. Megan Urry
C. MEGAN URRY (NAS) is the Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University. She is also director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. She previously served as chair of the Physics Department at Yale and in the presidential line of the American Astronomical Society. Prior to moving to Yale, Urry was a senior astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which runs the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA. Her scientific research focuses on active galaxies, which host accreting supermassive black holes in their centers. Urry is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and American Women in Science. She received an honorary doctorate from Tufts University and was awarded the American Astronomical Society’s Annie Jump Cannon and George van Biesbroeck prizes. Urry received her Ph.D. in physics from the Johns Hopkins University and her B.S. in physics and mathematics from Tufts University. She has previously served on an Academies’ committee.