Dr. Tracy Becker Honored with 2023 Carl Sagan Medal for Science Communication

This year is valuable Carl Sagan MedalAlso known as the „Sagan Medal” and named after the late astronomer Dr. Carl Sagan, Awarded To Dr. Tracy Becker, a planetary scientist in the Space Sciences Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. The Sagan Medal recipient is selected by the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division of Planetary Science and recognizes planetary scientists who, in addition to being active in science communication with the public, have made tremendous strides in better helping the public. Understand and excite the field of planetary science.

Dr. Becker is being recognized as the 2023 recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for her dedication to science communication, especially to students who are blind and hard of hearing, and to Spanish-speaking patrons. He previously competed in the American Geophysical Union maiden competition.Voices for ScienceProject in 2018, with affiliate Astronomy in San Antonio, she actively organizes. Additionally, Dr. Becker”Letter to a former scientist„Pen Buddy Project, SwRI’s young engineers and scientists plan, Skype is a scientistServed as Scientific Advisor Encyclopaedia Britannica for Childrenand co-hosted by „A Walk in the Galaxy„Internet.

“As an undergraduate, my passion for communications and outreach was solidified when I worked with middle school girls on a project focused on the role of women in science,” said Dr. Tracy Becker. SwRI report. „The multiweek program concluded with an exclusive meeting with astronaut Dr. Sally Ride – a transformative experience for all of us.”

Dr. Becker He received his BA in Astrophysics with Latin American Studies from Lehigh University in 2010 and his PhD in Physics – Planetary Science Track from the University of Central Florida in 2016. Immediately after graduation he joined SwRI as a postdoctoral researcher. Full Research Scientist in 2018. His research interests include observing satellite exospheres, using ultraviolet reflectance observations to study the compositions of planetary surfaces, using radar observations to estimate the physical dimensions of near-Earth asteroids, and using stellar eclipse data to measure the particle properties of Saturn. Rings.

Dr. Becker’s previous honors and awards include the OPAG Early Career Funding Award (2018) and the San Antonio Business Journal 40 Under 40 (2021). He has also participated in several team initiatives, including a NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium Space Grant Fellow (2013), a NASA Team Achievement Award for the Cassini UVIS Science Team (2018), and a NASA PI Launchpad Workshop Participant (2019).

„From the day I met her, I knew Tracy to be one of the most passionate communicators of science, not only to the general public, but also to her Carl Sagan Award winners, among her peers and colleagues. Especially early career scientists,” says Dr. Kurt Retherford, senior program manager for research and development at SwRI. Universe Today. „He works harder than anyone I know to reach the underserved communities in San Antonio where we live, the Arecibo Watch community in Puerto Rico, and around the world.”

First awarded in 1998, criteria for awarding the Sagan Medal include the degree of impact a potential awardee has had with the general public related to communicating science, advancing science in the eyes of their target audience, and upholding ethical standards. with AAS Ethics. Previous awardees included Dr. David Grinspoon (2006), Dr. Carolyn Borgo (2010), and more recently, Dr. Caleb Scharf (2022)

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Dr. We heartily congratulate Becker on his amazing career and well-deserved Carl Sagan Award, and look forward to watching him continue to inspire and motivate the next generation of planetary scientists in the years and decades to come!

As always, keep doing science & keep searching!

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