Datanauts 9

Since its founding in 2015, Datanauts has assembled people from a diverse range of backgrounds. We’ve got a former school teacher turned data scientist, an International Space Station tech dynamo, an international R community leader and an artist-engineer hybrid using predictive models to solve global problems -- just to name a few. There’s no single path toward becoming a Datanaut, so even if you think you might not fit the bill, you probably bring something unique to the table!

Currently, we are accepting applications (until December 22, 2017 at 11:59pm PST) for the Spring 2018 Datanauts class, and we want YOU to apply - and are even looking for some Datanaut storytellers to help spread the word on Open NASA’s digital platforms.

What is it like to be a NASA Datanaut?

1“Being a Datanaut is a very exciting experience! Watercooler chats are very useful to learn more about data analysis and to know new tools and ways to make things with data. And, of course, being a Datanaut means meeting new and lovely people that can help you or learn from your experience. My goal now is to organize an event and show the NASA Datanauts community at my University. I would recommend to everyone working with data to be a NASA Datanaut!” Lidia Contreras (Fall 2017 Class)

2“My experience has been amazing. This program has afforded me a wonderful and rich network of women who enjoy long-lasting learning and exploring ways that they work with community to advance data exploration. Access to the NASA datasets is such a value add. I really enjoy experiencing the diversity in the watercooler chat offerings. Excellent program.” Loretta H. Cheeks, Ph.D. (2016 Class)

3“I have had a great experience. This year, I started to look into programs and languages recommended and discussed in watercooler chats by fellow Datanauts, such as R and Python. I can already see how it would be helpful for my research with optical metrology, where I need to handle very large data sets and use them for measurement and analysis of large optics.” Maham Aftab (2016 Class)

4“The Datanauts initiative is a great opportunity for me to connect with people from different study and work fields around the world. Seeing how people work enthusiastically with data makes me feel motivated. After the kickoff at NASA headquarters, I’ve kept in touch with people on watercooler chats and have learned about popular topics in the field. I personally learn alot from these chats, such as how to get NASA data or making cool plots with plots extensions, while asking questions directly to experienced people, which is so helpful. Nowadays, I aim to learn JSON format to work with NASA data by myself. I am still learning.“ Hazel Kavılı (Fall 2017 Class)

5“Datanauts has been a wonderful experience.  I've made supportive friends and discovered an interest in the intersection of data science and cybersecurity. This helped me win a scholarship to a large security conference this past summer, and has led me to start thinking about actually speaking at conferences.” Wendy Edwards (Spring 2017 Class)

7“I started my career transition from business intelligence to data science a couple of years ago. At the beginning of the process, I have wanted to give up at times and suffered from ‘Imposter Syndrome’. I was deeply grateful to be accepted as a NASA Datanaut for Spring Class 2017. Since starting the journey with other Datanauts in January 2017, I have learned about real-life data science applications through water cooler chats and have had opportunities to collaborate on project ideas. It is a great, supportive network that I can access despite being across the Atlantic Ocean.” Nujcharee Haswell (Spring 2017 Class)

8“I will always want to do more with the NASA Datanaut community, whether it is attending watercooler chats, hopefully and finally organizing events with local education groups or just learning more about community members passions and research. During my maternity leave, I would try to squeeze in whatever sessions I could between naps. When a guest speaker introduced the group to evolutionary robotics, I was able to watch alongside my 6-year-old daughter. Representation matters. Her hearing a group of diverse people talk with a women about her research in robotics has validated her love of inventing, creating and her belief that there is a place at NASA for her.” Amanda Casari (2016 Class)

10“I still don't always know exactly what to do with my status as a Datanaut, but I love the watercooler chats I've been to and the community that has risen up out of Datanauts. I've been able to connect with, mentor, and receive advice from some really amazing people, and I'm glad I have this opportunity in my life.” Kaelen Louise Medeiros (Spring 2017 Class)

11“I have enjoyed every step of the class. I wish it never ends! Watercooler chats has been amazing, I really liked the continuity of R classes and also, the more advanced chats, like the last one from Nvidia. I also have enjoyed working in my project… I've met wonderful people, which includes not only community members but NASA people. I hope to keep assisting to chats and working on NASA data because I absolutely love this community.” Bea Hernández (Fall 2017 Class)


Are you ready to apply?

Read more about the Datanauts program and the application process on the Open.NASA.gov Datanauts webpage. NASA will begin reviewing applications for the spring 2018 cohort immediately and will be announcing selections in early January. Applications are due December 22, 2017 at 11:59pm PST!

About Matt

Matt Scott is a Datanauts Storyteller