Library of Congress astrobiology chair visits the Libraries July 25

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The NCSU Libraries is pleased to host Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, the Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress and an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, as the 2018 I.T. Littleton Seminar speaker. She will deliver a public talk on Wednesday, July 25 at 2:00 p.m. in the Hunt Library Auditorium, with a reception to follow at 3:00 p.m.

In her talk, “A Scientist Loose in America's Library: Studying Astrobiology at the Library of Congress,” Walkowicz will discuss her work as the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. The Blumberg Chair is a unique position, created to foster research at the intersection of astrobiology (the search for and study of life in the universe), and its implications for society. She will speak about the ethics of Mars exploration with a focus on equity and inclusion in the sciences, touching upon her research progress and some of the unique events and opportunities that working at the Library of Congress offers.

Walkowicz studies the ethics of Mars exploration, stellar magnetic activity, how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life, and how to use advanced computing to discover unusual events in large astronomical data sets. She is the founding director of the new LSSTC Data Science Fellowship Program, an initiative to provide astronomy graduate students with training in advanced computing, and coordinates the community of science collaborations for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

Walkowicz holds a BS in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University, and an MS and PhD in Astronomy from the University of Washington. Walkowicz is also a TED Senior Fellow and a practicing artist who works in a variety of media from oil paint to sound.

The I.T. Littleton Seminar is presented by the NCSU Librarians' Association. The annual event, funded by an endowment established in 1987 to explore key issues in the development of academic libraries and to honor former library director I.T. Littleton, is free and open to the public.