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Making Space: Pioneering Women in Aerospace

August 20,7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Program Summary: 

The year 2020 is the 100th anniversary of 19th amendment’s ratification. To acknowledge this important anniversary, physicist Emily Martin from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and astronaut Janet Kavandi (invited) will explore the history of women in aviation to reveal their significant contributions to the field. Guided my moderator A. N. Devers, a writer and rare book dealers specializing in women authors, the two scientists will discuss and answer questions about their own groundbreaking careers.

Speaker Bios:   

Dr. Emily Martin is a research physical scientist in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum’s Center for Earth and Planetary Studies. Emily’s research interests are in planetary surface processes and tectonic deformation across our solar system, especially the icy bodies of the outer solar system. Developing a better understanding of how planetary surfaces deformed tells us about their histories and what they have experienced. Of particular interest is the evolution of subsurface oceans on Saturn’s moon Enceladus and other icy satellites. Many of these moons had or have liquid water oceans under their brittle water-ice lithospheres making them prime targets for understanding the habitable potential of the outer solar system. Much of Emily’s work relies on images taken by the Voyager, Galileo, Cassini, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecrafts. Emily received her B.A. in physics from Wheaton College (MA) in 2006, where she first began exploring the icy satellites. She subsequently obtained her M.S. form Northwestern University in Earth and planetary science in 2009, and her PhD in geological sciences from the University of Idaho in 2014.  

(Invited) Dr. Janet Kavandi is Senior Vice President, Space Systems, at Sierra Nevada Corporation, a global aerospace and national security contractor. Prior to joining Sierra Nevada, Dr. Kavandi served as director of the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and Director of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center. She was selected as a NASA astronaut in December 1994 is a veteran of three space flights, serving as a mission specialist on STS-91 in 1998, STS-99 in 2000 and STS-104 in 2001. Dr. Kavandi has logged more than 33 days in space, traveling more than 13.1 million miles in 535 Earth orbits. Born in Springfield, Missouri, she earned a BS in chemistry from Missouri Southern State University, an MS in chemistry from Missouri University of Science and Technology, and her doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Washington.  

(Invited) Moderator: A. N. Devers is a writer, arts journalist and critic, and rare book dealer based in London (specializing in women authors, she has worked with LHL frequently). Her first book, Train, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury. The International Contributing Editor of A Public Space, she has written for TheNew Yorker, New Republic, Lapham’s Quarterly, Lenny, Los Angeles Times, Longreads, The Paris Review, Prospect, Salon, Slate, Fine Books, and The Washington Post, among other publications.


Accessing the program

This free, livestream program will take place via Zoom. Registration is currently open and will remain open until the event has ended. After you register you will receive an email with a link to join the session. To help us better serve our audiences, we have included some demographic questions in the registration form. Your response to these questions is voluntary but appreciated.  Thank you! 

Click here to register


The Linda Hall Library encourages people of all backgrounds and abilities to participate in our public programs.  Closed captioning is provided.  If you require additional reasonable accommodations in order to participate, please contact events@lindahall.org or call 816.926.8753 at least 24 hours in advance of the event. 

Once you register for this event, you will receive email communications from the Linda Hall Library and the Linda Hall Library Foundation. You may choose to opt out of these communications at any time. Your contact information will not be sold or provided to any third parties. 

The program will also livestream on the Library’s Facebook page.

This program is funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. 
Its content is solely the responsibility of the Linda Hall Library. 





Eric Ward

For reservation questions, please email events@lindahall.org or call 816.926.8772 to leave a message.

Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information on these events.