The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and American Association of University Women (AAUW) co-sponsored this day of conversations with Dr. Erika Hamden that brought out over 200 students throughout the day. Dr. Hamden discussed the challenges for women in science followed by a lecture, The Ups and Downs of Scientific Ballooning.
About the Seminar Given by Dr. Hamden
Scientific ballooning combines the gentle joy of a hot air balloon ride with the excitement of discovery and adventure. While the last 60+ years of scientific balloon flights operated by NASA have discovered a great many things, the process of getting a telescope off the ground and into the stratosphere is anything but gentle, fraught with challenges, heartbreak, and exhilaration. I will discuss my own experiences as the manager of the Faint Intergalactic medium Redshifted Emission Balloon (FIREBall-2), a UV multi-object spectrograph which flew on September 22nd, 2018 from Fort Sumner, NM. I will describe the telescope, instrument, and flight of FIREBall-2. I will also describe the science goals of FIREBall-2, which is focused on observing the gas in the circum-galactic and circum-quasar media of z=0.7 galaxies via Ly-alpha and other tracers.