JPL Scientist Among NASA Trio Honored with Prestigious Awards

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September 16, 2003

A prominent scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., joins two other NASA leaders being honored by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization Women in Aerospace for their outstanding achievements in aerospace technology, education and community outreach.

Dr. Andrea Donnellan, a JPL geophysicist and deputy manager of JPL's Earth and Space Sciences Division, is a co-winner of Women in Aerospace's 2003 Outstanding Achievement Award. She was cited for her development of a 25-year plan to apply space technology to the study of earthquake and volcanic hazards, and for her work as a mentor to girls and women of all ages. She will join astronaut Barbara Morgan and Dr. Marla Perez-Davis of NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, in an award ceremony honoring them and three other women Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

"These women from the NASA family are truly inspiring. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty in highlighting the advancement of women in aerospace fields. They're a reflection of the best and brightest at NASA, and I am proud to see them honored in this way," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

The winners were selected from nearly 100 nominees competing in an open solicitation. Criteria for the awards include noteworthy achievement on or contributions to an aerospace project or program that represents a breakthrough or milestone in the field; commitment to professional growth; and service as a role model or mentor that shows dedication to the advancement of women in aerospace.

Donnellan has been a geophysicist at JPL since 1993 and is also a research professor at the University of Southern California. She has held JPL positions as the deputy section manager of the Exploration Systems Autonomy Section, supervisor of the Data Understanding Systems Group and as a research scientist in the Satellite Geodesy and Geodynamics Group. In that group, she helped establish the Southern California Integrated Global Positioning System Network, a state-of-the-art continuous Global Positioning System network used to assess and mitigate earthquake hazards.

Donnellan's current focus is developing the Solid Earth Research Virtual Observatory, which will use computational technologies to study earthquake physics and fault systems. She also uses Global Positioning System and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) satellite technology coupled with computer models to study earthquakes, plate tectonics and corresponding movements of Earth's crust.

Donnellan has published more than 25 articles in leading journals and has twice been a finalist in the astronaut selection process. Her previous honors include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and JPL's Lew Allen Award for Excellence in Research, in recognition of significant leadership and technological innovation performed during the early years of a researcher's professional career.

Morgan will receive the Aerospace Educator Award for her pioneering work in integrating space research with classroom education. Morgan is the agency's first Educator Astronaut, and is assigned as a crew member on a future Space Shuttle mission. She was selected in 1985 as the backup candidate for the Teacher in Space program. Following the Challenger accident, the program was suspended and Morgan worked with NASA's Education Office, meeting with teachers and students across the country to share her space training experiences and their relevance to the classroom and America's future. In 1986, Morgan returned to teaching at McCall-Donnelly Elementary School in Idaho, but continued to travel the country in support of NASA's education efforts. In January 1998, she was selected by NASA to complete her astronaut training.

Perez-Davis will be the first recipient recognized with the Aerospace Awareness Award, which recognizes an individual's work in reaching out and building public awareness of aerospace programs and increasing public understanding of aerospace development and activities. She has also served as a role model and mentor to students of diverse backgrounds and races from many nations. She joined NASA in 1983 and currently serves as Chief of the Electrochemistry Branch, managing the research and technology workforce and efforts to carry out research and development, component design, cell fabrication, tests, advanced system conception, and preliminary evaluation as it relates to electrochemical energy conversion and storage.

Women in Aerospace is dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in aerospace and related careers, and to recognizing the achievements of outstanding women in aerospace. For more information, visit: http://www.womeninaerospace.org. For more information on JPL, visit http://www.jpl.nasa.gov. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Contact: Alan Buis (818) 354-0474
JPL

Dwayne Brown (202) 358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Karen Rugg (703) 379-4345
Women In Aerospace, Alexandria, Va.

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JPL Scientist Among NASA Trio Honored with Prestigious Awards


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