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2023 Alumni Lecture

Portrait of Dr. Stefanie Milam, 2023 Alumni Lecture speaker
Dr. Stefanie Milam
Planetary Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center
iSTEM Building 2, Room 1218
Departmental Colloquium

Our 2023 Alumni Lecture speaker, Dr. Stefanie Milam, is a Planetary Scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and serves as the James Webb Space Telescope Deputy Project Scientist for Planetary Science. She works in the Astrochemistry Laboratory at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and is an expert in rotational spectroscopy, observations, and laboratory modeling of astrochemistry and molecular astrophysics of the interstellar medium, evolved stars, star formation regions, and comets. Her observational focus is on the compositional studies of primitive bodies, namely comets and interstellar objects, and she uses ground- and space-based facilities to understand their connection to the formation and evolution of planetary systems. She also has a laboratory dedicated to simulate interstellar/cometary/planetary ices and detect trace species employing the same techniques used for remote observations to help constrain the chemical complexity of the ices, the amount of processing that occurs, and interpret past and present data from missions that observe ice features.

Dr. Milam has been working on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as Deputy Project Scientist for Planetary Science since 2014. In this role she has helped enable observations within our own solar system from Near-Earth Asteroids to the farthest reaches of the Kuiper belt and even the brightest objects in the infrared sky (e.g. Mars). She has also led the study team for solar system science for WFIRST. In 2021, she was honored when asteroid 40706 (1999 RO240) was renamed to 40706 Milam. She received the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2022 for her work on enabling Solar System Science with JWST missions that observe ice features. 

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Head of Chemistry: Prof. Jason Locklin