2003 Award Reception : Andrea Donnellan
Winner of the 2003 Women in Aerospace Outstanding Achievement Award
An excerpt from the nomination form:
Using Space Technology Here on Earth
Dr. Andrea Donnellan has made a noteworthy contribution to aerospace by demonstrating the value of space technology for improving our understanding of earthquake and volcanic hazards. A member of the NASA Solid Earth Science Working Group, she has developed a 25-year plan for applying such technology to the study of solid earth.
In April 2002, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe cited Dr. Donnellan as the "face of NASA's future science."
She routinely mentors and conducts outreach for women who range in age from elementary school to professional adults. Among her outreach activities-conducting a workshoip on space technology at the Sally Ride Science Festival for Girls at Caltech in 2002. And she participated in the JPL Women in Science webcast also held that year.
Andrea has been a geophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1993. She is the Deputy Division Manager of the Earth and Space Science Division at JPL and a research professor at the University of Southern California. She has also held positions as the Deputy Section Manager of the Exploration Systems Autonomy Section at JPL, the supervisor of the Data Understanding Systems Group, and as a research scientist in the Satellite Geodesy and Geodynamics Group.
In that group she was involved in establishing the Southern California Integrated GPS Network, a state-of-the-art continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) network used for earthquake hazard assessment and mitigation. Donnellan's current area of focus is in developing the Solid Earth Research Virtual Observatory (SERVO) to use computational technologies to study earthquake physics and fault systems. Donnellan also uses GPS and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) satellite technology coupled with computer models to study earthquakes, plate tectonics, and the corresponding movements of the earth's crust.
Born March 30, 1964, in Bay City, Michigan, Donnellan was raised in the greater Chicago area. She received a bachelor's degree from the Ohio State University in 1986, with a geology major and mathematics minor. She received her master's and Ph.D. in geophysics from Caltech's Seismological Laboratory in 1988 and 1991 respectively. Upon completion of her Ph.D. she held a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Donnellan was a Visiting Associate at the Seismological Laboratory at Caltech from 1995 to 1996. In December 1996 Donnellan received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and in 2000, she received the Lew Allen Award for Excellence in Research - the highest honors possible for the US and JPL respectively in recognition of significant leadership and technological innovation performed during the early years of a researcher's professional career. Donnellan received an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in 2003.
Donnellan has conducted field studies in California in the region of the Northridge earthquake, the Ventura basin, and on the San Andreas fault. She has also carried out fieldwork in Antarctica on the West Antarctic Ice Streams, in the Dry Valleys, and in Marie Byrd Land, on the Altiplano of Bolivia, in Mongolia, and on Variegated Glacier in Alaska. She has published over 25 articles in several leading journals.
Donnellan is an instrument rated commercial land and sea pilot, SCUBA diver, and enjoys ice skating, dancing ballet, and playing the piano. Donnellan has twice been a finalist in the astronaut selection process. She is a resident of Altadena, California and enjoys spending time with her son Alexander.