Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Distinguished Visiting Lecture: Dr. Ellen Stofan

Ellen Stofan
Dr. Ellen Stofan

Dr. Ellen Stofan (@EllenStofan) is the former Chief Scientist of NASA (2013-2016) and was recently named to lead the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. She is an Honorary Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London, a Senior Scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, and co-chair of the World Economic Forum Future of Space Technologies Council. From 2000-2012, Stofan was Vice President of Proxemy Research, and from 1992-2000, she held a number of senior scientist positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory including Chief Scientist of the New Millennium Program, Experiment Scientist for the Shuttle Imaging Radar-C, and Deputy Project Scientist for the Magellan mission to Venus. Her research focuses on the geology of Venus, Mars, Saturn's moon Titan, and Earth. She has published extensively, and received many awards and honors including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and NASA’s Distinguished Service Medal. She is an associate member of the Cassini Mission to Saturn Radar Team, and proposed a mission to NASA to land a boat on a sea on Titan. Stofan has a Ph.D. and MSc from Brown University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of William and Mary. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Explorers Club. She is co-author of the book Planetology: Unlocking the Secrets of the Solar System and the new publication The Next Earth: What can our world teach us about other planets?, both published by National Geographic.

Searching for life beyond Earth: From Mars to the ocean worlds of the outer solar system

Presented Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Liquid water is key to life on Earth, and thus the focus of our search for life beyond Earth. Finding evidence of current or past life in our own solar system will help inform our search for habitable worlds around other stars.


Understanding volcanism on Venus: Implications for habitable worlds

Presented Thursday, April 26, 2018

This was the more technical, College Science Lecture.

Venus is a volcano world, with thousands of volcanic edifices scattered across its surface. However, understanding the surface history of Venus and why it has evolved so differently from Earth remain a challenge despite the rich Magellan dataset.


Sponsored by the Oregon State University College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences


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