Aomawa Shields [EMAIL]

Assistant Professor, University of California, Irvine

Research Expertise: climate modeling of extrasolar planets; snowball earth

VPL Focus: Task C: The Habitable Planet


I'm a fifth-year graduate student in the Astronomy department and Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington. My research focuses on modeling the climate of extrasolar planets, and exploring the effects of stellar and planetary influences on planetary ice coverage. 
I received my Sc.B in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT in 1997, and an MFA in Acting from UCLA in 2001. Between then and entering graduate school I worked at Caltech supporting the astronomical community in its use of the Spitzer Space Telescope, co-hosted the PBS show "Wired Science", acted in the film "Nine Lives" (one of Ebert and Roeper's "Top Ten Films of 2005"), and published the essay 'Universe: The Sequel' in the anthology "She's Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff" (Seal Press, 2006).
Recently I was honored to win the Audience Choice award in the 2012 United States FameLab science communication competition. In my spare time my husband Steven and I like to travel, grill on our patio, and watch TV with our two mother and daughter cats, Mama and Mimi.