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The wait is over. NASA has selected our next class of Datanauts. As in years past, the candidate pool was incredibly impressive. It was amazing to see the breadth of talent and knowledge, creativity and drive, and so many interesting backgrounds and experiences. We are thankful that each of you want to engage with data as much as we do! 

Datanauts Video Conference
NASA Datanaut team discussing ideas and opportunities for the next class.

This year's class engagements promise to be even better. We'll be learning R, researching tools for use by the NASA IT Community, and exploring a myriad of topics with NASA's subject matter experts. 

Join us in welcoming our newest NASA Datanauts!

  • Alice Pevyhouse is a college adjunct physics and astronomy instructor, leveraging her background in cell and molecular biology and physics. When she's not pursuing her passion for astrobiology and the big unanswered questions, she enjoys stand-up paddle-boarding and Arduino projects.
  • Allan Anzagira is a PhD student in Electrical Engineering with research on Model Based Systems Engineering for Inter-satellite communications. He has experience in Machine Learning, Data Mining, Programming (Python, MATLAB, C++) and Web Development. He's enthusiastic about data science for social good.
  • Anita Kirkovska is a recent computer science graduate and all-time space nerd. She's a veteran NASA Space Apps Challenge organizer. She works as a Growth Hacker in a tech startup, while building a data-driven tool for career prospects improvement.
  • Aybuke Turker is a digital media PhD student researching how different people learn computational skills--like programming--differently from one another. Her Earth life goals are to make learning addictive, adaptive, and personalized. Her space life goals are to take a space walk, have coffee with a view of Earth, and make a pot with Mars soil.
  • A mathematician at heart, Beatriz Hernández fell in love with data and now uses her math skills in data science. She aims to make data accessible to everyone through visualizations; and is passionate about using her expertise to help animal shelters and sanctuaries.
  • Blair Palmer manages global partnerships and programs for global non-profit organization. Armed with a MPH in epidemiology and BS in neuroscience, she is a data nerd who believes in harnessing technology for social good. She was named to the Dell #Inspire100 of world changers; and loves animals, bikes, skiing, maps and space.
  • Brett Johnson is an IT community advocate and blogger who has worked primarily in IT infrastructure. His new frontier is the virtualization space, focusing on planning, design and deployment of client solutions.
  • Bridget Carberry is a web developer looking to explore the kind of data NASA collects, what it means, and hopefully a bit about the solar system and space.
  • Brooke Watson is a research scientist and epidemiologist studying the intersection between conservation, behavior, and public health. She is an organizer in the R Ladies community and is passionate about diversity and transparency in STEM.
  • Caitlin Hudon lives in the intersection of data, statistics, and visualization, and loves getting her hands dirty in munging, exploring, and analyzing new data. She is a strong advocate for Women in STEM as Co-founder of R-Ladies Austin and through MAGIC mentoring. Outside of data, she loves adventures, tacos, and starry nights.
  • Carley Jacobson loves to break things to make new cooler things. She coordinates hackathons around the world on all continents excluding Antarctica.
  • Carolina Hadad is a software developer from Argentina who likes using technology to help solving social issues. She's one of the co-founder of Chicas en Tecnología Argentina, which aims to inspire girls aged 13 to 16 to create technology to solve the issues they are facing.
  • Ching Chang is a software engineer with a broad interest in art and science. As an educational game developer, Ching looks for creative ways to inspire a sense of wonder in learning. By democratizing access to compelling interactive visualizations of actual NASA data, Ching hopes to inspire a new generation of scientists and explorers.
  • Erika Bakse loves to work with data - specifically making data accessible. She designs and builds business intelligence data platforms, yet finds time to knit, play guitar, act, and bake.
  • Gayathri Swaminathan is an operations engineer and open source community advocate. She holds a masters in computer science and is passionate about science, data, reverse engineering and involving girls and women to new coding exercises and projects.
  • Günperi Sisman is a concerned citizen scientist with a background in economics, politics and law who is passionate about space research and travel. She was a participant in and local finalist of the Space Apps Challenge hackathon in 2015 and 2016. 
  • Hazel Kavili is a PhD student in Earth system sciences with interests in archaeological modeling and learning and teaching R and statistics. She founded R-Ladies Istanbul chapter.
  • Heather Ales enjoys figuring out the hows and whys behind functions and processes. Her interests are wide and varied -- from creative arts to data analytics.
  • Heidi Tebbe is an academic librarian with a background in astronomy, immersive media, and library science. She shares her adventures in self-taught R via social media.
  • Ichsan Hariadi is a data interpreter, analyst, and information manager with a proven history of turning big data sets into compelling interactive visualizations, table, and maps.
  • Data Scientist and Co-Founder at Datatons, Ines Huertas is "a Data Dreamer in search of stories!" She currently organizes the Data Science Madrid Meetup group and RLadies Madrid, and thrives on analytics projects -- preparing data, designing models, and searching for patterns and trends.
  • Irene Chen is a computer science PhD candidate drawn to useful and interpretable machine learning. She is passionate about healthcare, data storytelling, teaching, supporting women in STEM, and using data to improve lives. She loves all things space!
  • Jennifer Thompson is a biostatistician who loves programming in R as a means to better understand the world through statistics, visualizations, reproducible research, and strong communication. She enjoys exploring new subject areas and new aspects of data science.
  • Jesse Ponnock is a software architecture and design expert interested in big data, artificial intelligence, and autonomous systems. He is an avid space exploration enthusiast and is committed to retiring on Mars.
  • Jordan Lui is a space communicator and biomedical engineer with a life goal to travel in space. He conducts optical tech research for rehabilitation, and applies this knowledge to satellite sensing.
  • Jordi Frank has a background in computer science. She participated in the Space Apps Challenge where she and her partner developed a data analysis and exploration project about how specific climate-related changes are affecting low-income New Yorkers. She also participated in the Panasci competition, which helped budding entrepreneurs develop their business ideas.
  • Kelsey Hutchison is a bioengineer turned data visualization nerd who loves good design, good stories, and cats. If it can be taken apart and put back together, she'll be there.
  • Student Laura Doyle is the founder of the International Space Station Interesting Exercise (ISSIE) team from Space Apps NYC, which aims is to make exercise fun for astronauts using mixed reality and programmed games. She loves to learn new things and apply them to helping the world, starting with space and future space exploration.
  • Lidia Contreras Ochando is a PhD student in computer science whose thesis research is focused on the automation of the data science process, especially in the data wrangling step. She is also the founder of R-Ladies Valencia.
  • By night, Lilian Huang writes fiction exploring science's possibilities; by day, she researches child welfare and serves as head storyteller for the civic tech group Data for Democracy. She hopes to apply her data skills to pursue her interest in space, so that she can share narratives about living responsibly in the cosmos.
  • Lisa Winter is a data science consultant who will soon complete her PhD in cognitive psychology on the topic of mitigation of confirmation bias in the field of intelligence analysis.
  • An urban enthusiast and self-proclaimed data nerd, Maria Filippelli works as a Data Science Manager for a non-profit that provides data science services to social change organizations. She is interested in learning what data can show us and what data is needed to create a world that is sustainable and equitable for all.
  • Mark Woodland is completing his astrophysics degree. He's a massive space geek and spends his free time undertaking science based outreach. His goal is to learn python for computational modeling of exoplanet systems.
  • Martha Rotter is a software engineer with a passion for open data and interactive storytelling. She has a background in computer science and international business and enjoys everything from creating APIs to data visualization to automation to security. She's fascinated by aerospace and can't wait to contribute to NASA Datanauts!
  • Dr. Maryam Jahanshahi is a biologist by training. She is experienced in computational methods, bioinformatics and natural language processing. Maryam is focused on applying computational methods and systems design to reduce bias in decision making. She passionate about open access science.
  • Matt Brealey works in the visual effects industry on the creative and software sides. His latest adventure is applying these skills and tools to process space data. His goal: to create applications promoting data accessibility/simplifying common processing workflows.
  • Nadew Kibret is an aspiring PHD candidate in Electrical Engineering. His research focus is the application of formal techniques for small satellites system design. He has experience in Python and Java, as well as modeling to check Maude and PVS.
  • Norma Padron is a health economist, a professor, and Associate Director Center for Population Health Research at Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) in health economics, data strategy, and research design.
  • Winning team member of 2017 Space Apps Challenge LemonPy Pollen alert app, Octavio Gianatiempo is a molecular biologist and PhD student who is entering world of data science using R, Python, Linux, and open data.
  • Olina Sulak is beginning to discover data science, and eager to give it a try. She can't think of a better place than NASA to explore the universe of data.
  • Olivia Chen is a data analyst with a MS in Statistics. She enjoys using stats and math to tackle difficult problems. She's passionate about open data, data science in renewable energy, and overall diversity in STEM. Olivia also has a love for R, Python and data visualization.
  • Paula Alves is a geoscientist who has been learning and doing data science for the last three years. She's passionate about maps, satellites, rocks, and space. She aims to align her background and data science skills by developing geospatial data expertise.
  • Ray Newby is shifting careers from English teacher to data scientist. Right now he is working as a junior software developer for a consulting firm while also working on his MS in computer science. He's passionate about data -- especially the open variety!
  • Reshama Shaikh is a statistician and MBA leveraging her business strategy and management skills in the data science and education fields. She is an organizer of the Meetup group called NYC Women in Machine Learning & Data Science.
  • Sama Rao is a math major concentrating in statistics. She hopes to pursue a career in data science and machine learning. One of her most satisfying achievements is taking a statistics class entirely in Spanish when she studied in Madrid. In her free time, she enjoys fitness classes and mystery novels.
  • Sanju Balasunderam is an electrical engineer working in financial services. After working in commercial industry, she is eager to expand into the Datanaut "space."
  • Shannon Hicks is a PhD candidate studying water vapor trends in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere using lidar. She enjoys science literature, communication, and outreach. She's interested in applying data science to analyze large climate data sets.
  • Sonali Gupta is a data visualization specialist with experience in data analysis and automating reports using business intelligence tools and technologies. Sonali loves playing with data, teasing out key insights, and storytelling.
  • Social scientist Stacia Varga has a long history in IT: programmer, instructor, consultant, and author of multiple technical books. Her dad's work on the Space Shuttle program fueled her love of astronomy. She's fascinated with the world, its inhabitants, and the universe.
  • Tania Allard is a research software engineer who loves everything about data--from collection and curation to developing complex data analysis pipelines. She is passionate about reproducible research and open data science and loves everything related to astrophysics and the space.

Learn more about the newest Datanauts class here: Meet the Datanauts Fall 2017 class.

As part of our NASA's Datanaut initiative, our next class of 50 volunteers will use NASA data and tools to help NASA evolve processes from the serendipity of skills, personalities, interests, and engagement of the participants. Individual Datanauts represent varied backgrounds, experiences, and technical expertise with one common thread: each is eager to learn and enhance coding skills, and experiment with NASA's data, tools, techniques, and subject matter experts. The Datanaut experience encourages individual and group discovery through data challenges, virtual data chats with NASA and external experts, and community events hosted by class members. 

We're looking forward to sharing this adventure of seeking knowledge and insights through problem-solving with NASA data. The grand experiment continues...

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About Lori

Lori Parker is stepping into a new leadership role with NASA Datanauts. She also serves as a senior advisor for the new Information Management Program, and is designing a data insights capability to better predict IT trends. When not leading and directing data projects, Lori can be found building Lego castles with her daughter in Northern Virginia.