Annual application deadlines:
March 1, July 1, and November 1.
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BlueCross BlueShield health insurance benefits: updated annually on July 1.
Rika Anderson (NAI) researches archaea as one of the keys to understanding the origin and evolution of life on Earth and other planets. Archaea are often found in low energy and extreme environments, such as hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, which are acidic, hot and muddy. These environments represent conditions much like those on early Earth. (Photo courtesy of Rika Anderson)
Hyunju Connor (GSFC) is a member of the STORM team at NASA GSFC, which hopes to launch a future satellite mission to visualize the Earth’s sunside magnetosphere using X-ray imagery. In this photograph, Connor sits with a STORM X-ray imager (front), built for the future mission, and a prototype X-ray imager (back) which flew during a DXL rocket mission and came back with zero damage. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Michael Collier, NASA GSFC)
Shawn Domagal-Goldman (NPP Alumnus, HQ 2010-2012), currently a research space scientist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at GSFC, helped to initiate the NASA FameLab competition as part of his fellowship research into the communication of astrobiology science. NASA’s FameLab competition is a science communications event that offers early career scientists a chance to practice science communication and then display their skills in an “American Idol” style speaking competition. (Photo courtesy of D. McCallum, NASA)
Florian Schwandner’s research at JPL incorporates a high profile NASA satellite, OCO-2, to measure atmospheric CO2 from space. Schwandner then uses this information to determine large sources and pools of CO2 on earth. This data can be used to determine the location and relative activity of terrestrial volcanos. In the photo, Schwandner launches a radiosonde, one of the auxiliary calibration tools for OCO-2 and GOSAT satellite calibration, in Railroad Valley, Nevada. (Photo courtesy of A. Korde, JPL)
Thomas Graham (KSC) researches how differences in light quality and mechanical stimuli affect plant growth, searching for the combination that will increase plant volume efficiency while decreasing footprint. This allows the same amount of nutrients to be squeezed into a smaller plant. (Photo courtesy of Bob Gibson, ORAU)
Jordan Okie (NPP Alumnus, NAI 2012-2014) investigates the role of energy and metabolism in ecology, evolution, and biogeography. In the photo, Okie stands atop Mt. Voslips in Antarctica after a long day of sampling soils. He developed a general theory founded on basic metabolic and ecological principles that predicts how biodiversity should change as a function of temperature, pH, and salinity in low productivity environments and tested it by conducting a study on soil bacteria taxa on Mt. Voslips. The theory and empirical study were recently published. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Dave Van Horn, Okie’s collaborator on the project)
The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) supports NASA’s goal to expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe in which we live.
Selected by a competitive peer-review process, NPP Fellows complete one- to three-year Fellowship appointments that advance NASA’s missions in earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, space bioscience, aeronautics and engineering, human exploration and space operations, and astrobiology.
As a result, NPP Fellows contribute to national priorities for scientific exploration; confirm NASA’s leadership in fundamental research; and complement the efforts of NASA’s partners in the national science community.
Volume 3, Issue 4 of the NPP Newsletter includes a report about JSC Fellow Kristen John’s participation in the Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) mission and her research on near-Earth asteroids; a look at the history of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and the interdisciplinary research performed by its 12 current teams; a report about GSFC Fellow Hyunju Connor’s research on magnetic reconnection; information about NASA’s FameLab competition provided by NPP HQ Alumnus and current GSFC civil servant Shawn Domagal-Goldman; an update on current NPP happenings; and our usual report of program statistics.
The idea of spending two weeks cooped up in a 150 cubic meter space with three other people might sound like a nightmare to most people, but to Kristen John, an NPP Fellow at Johnson Space Center, it was the opportunity of a lifetime. “I spent 14 days locked up in a chamber with three other people, and it was an amazing experience!” said John. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.” John, who started as an NPP Fellow in July 2014, was selected to be the commander of a 14-day Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) mission to simulate a remote mission to study the asteroid Geographos at JSC, overseen by NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP). Find out more about John and her research on her research experience profile.