From Planetary Exploration to Environmental Justice: Navigating Career Paths Across the Cosmos with Code and Indigenous Knowledge

Graduate combines science and heritage in career and presentation | News, Sports, Jobs

Dr. Sierra (Weigman) Brown, a graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, will be giving a talk titled “From Planetary Geochemistry to Indigenous Environmental Policy: Charting Career Paths Across the Cosmos with Code” on Friday, April 5. The event will take place at noon in Houghton Hall Room 025 and is open to all interested individuals.

Dr. Brown currently works as a Staff Scientist and Research Software Engineer at Million Concepts, LLC. She obtained her B.S. in Geophysics and Geochemistry from SUNY Fredonia in 2016, followed by an M.S. in 2018 and a Ph.D. in Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences from Brown University in 2022. During her graduate studies, she focused on remote sensing and geochemical modeling of the Martian surface and has continued to work on various NASA missions such as Curiosity, Perseverance, and VIPER.

As a member of the Shinnecock Nation, Dr. Brown combines western and indigenous knowledge through the practice of “Two-Eyed Seeing” to offer unique perspectives. She is currently the Principal Investigator of a NASA Transform to Open Science Training grant called “Knowing the Sky: Building Open Science Skills through Native Knowledge Practices,” and has been recognized with the NASA Space Tech Catalyst Prize for supporting underrepresented groups in space technology development. She plans to use her expertise in building software to assist indigenous tribes in their environmental justice efforts.

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