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Tanya Harrison (scientist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tanya Harrison
Tanya Harrison on TMRO.jpg
Harrison speaks about Mars on TMRO in 2019
Alma materUniversity of Washington Wesleyan University
EmployerPlanet Labs
Known forPlanetary science

Martian geomorphology

NASA mission operations

Dr. Tanya Harrison is a Planetary Scientist and Manager of Science Programs at Planet Labs, working in their federal arm with science agencies to increase research use of Planet Labs' Earth observing satellite data. Previously she was the Director of Research at Arizona State University's Space Technology and Science Initiative, and was on the science team of the Mars Opportunity and Curiosity rovers.


At the age of five years old, Harrison watched "Big Bird in Japan" and became interested in space.[1] She joined the Seattle chapter of The Mars Society, and attended the 3rd International Mars Society Conference in Toronto.[1] Tanya Harrison completed her bachelor's degree in Astronomy and Physics at the University of Washington (2006), before a Masters in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Wesleyan University (2008).[2][3] Harrison completed her PhD, "Global-Scale Studies of Martian Mid-Latitude Landforms" at the University of Western Ontario's Centre for Planetary Science and Space Exploration in 2016.[4] Alongside her postgraduate studies, Harrison worked as a public outreach assistant.[5]


'Mount Sharp' Inside Gale Crater, Mars, created by Tanya Harrison.
'Mount Sharp' Inside Gale Crater, Mars, created by Tanya Harrison.

Harrison's research is in martian geomorphology and terrestrial analogues, spectroscopy and glaciology.[2]

Harrison took a break between her Bachelors and PhD. In 2008, Harrison became Assistant Staff Scientist at Malin Space Science Systems, after receiving a NASA scholarship.[6] Here she was on the science operation team for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[2] She also worked for the Mars Color Imager, the Mast Cameras and Mars Hand Lens Imager.[6] During this time, Harrison worked on science track programming for Norwescon.[7] Between 2010 and 2012 Harrison worked at The Planetary Society as web editor.[5] In 2011, Harrison was part of the team that won the NASA Group Achievement Award for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[8] She won a second in 2013 as part of the Mars Science Laboratory Mast Camera team.[8]

Harrison is a recipient of the Zonta Amelia Earhart Fellowship[9] (awarded twice), the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship,[10] and Geological Society of America On to the Future Award, among others.[11] She worked as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Planetary Science & Exploration at the University of Western Ontario.[12][13]

In 2016 she won the Geological Society of America Paul Pellas-Ryder Award.[8] That year she became a postdoctoral scholar and Director of Research of the NewSpace Initiative at Arizona State University.[14][5] She worked with commercial space companies (including Blue Origin and Bigelow Aerospace).[1][15] Harrison has cited NASA's Mars Pathfinder mission as one of her biggest inspirations.[16] She was selected for Planet’s Science Ambassadors program for her work on gullies on Devon Island, Canada, as an analogue for martian gullies.[17]

Public engagement

In 2017, Harrison joined a flight of scientists to watch the total solar eclipse from an airplane.[18][19][20] She is also a professional photographer.[21] Harrison has been involved with The Mars Society, National Space Society and Girl Scouts.[22] She has contributed to New Scientist, Gizmodo, The Weather Network and Slate.[23][24][25][26] Harrison has spoken of her struggles with harassment in the STEM workplace.[27] She regularly appears in the public discussion of astronomy.[28][29][30]


  1. ^ a b c "Meet A Rocket Woman: Tanya Harrison, Director of Research, New Space Initiative, Arizona State University – Rocket Women". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  2. ^ a b c "| School of Earth and Space Exploration". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  3. ^ "Niraula MA '18, Redfield Lead Team in Discovery of 3 Super-Earths". News @ Wesleyan. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  4. ^ Šebo, Vojtěch. "Tanya of Mars". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  5. ^ a b c "Tanya Harrison". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  6. ^ a b "Tanya Harrison: Being proactive helps you stand out from the crowd". Women in Planetary Science: Female Scientists on Careers, Research, Space Science, and Work/Life Balance. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  7. ^ "Norwescon 33 - Saturday Programming". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  8. ^ a b c ExpertFile. "Tanya Harrison Research Scientist, School of Earth and Space Exploration - Expert with Arizona State University | ExpertFile". Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  9. ^
  10. ^ University, Department of Communications and Public Affairs, Western (2015-11-12). "Western News - Final frontier has been PhD student's first choice". Western News. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  11. ^ "Award Winners: Women in Planetary Science". Women in Planetary Science: Female Scientists on Careers, Research, Space Science, and Work/Life Balance. 2014-07-03. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  12. ^ "Help map Mars' south polar region!". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  13. ^ "Global Map of Gullies on Mars - CPSX - Western University". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  14. ^ "Introduction: Planetary Scientist Tanya Harrison". GeoSciTweeps. 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  15. ^ "ASU student payloads selected to fly on Blue Origin space vehicle". Space Daily. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  16. ^ "26 - Remembering Pathfinder - WeMartians Podcast". WeMartians Podcast. 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  17. ^ "ASU NewSpace's Tanya Harrison Selected for Planet Science Ambassador Program | ASU NewSpace". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  18. ^ "Eclipse-viewing party in the air; special airline flight had a sky-high look". KSDK. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  19. ^ "The Best Photos and Videos of the Eclipse From Airplanes". The Points Guy. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  20. ^ "'Wow': Plane full of scientists got Earth's first glimpse of eclipse". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  21. ^ "Portfolio". Tanya Harrison Photography. Retrieved 2018-02-01.
  22. ^ "Keynote Speaker List – Women in Planetary Science and Exploration: Feb 17-18, 2018, Toronto, Canada". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  23. ^ Inc., Pelmorex Weather Networks. "Say hello to Canada's two newest astronauts!". The Weather Network. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  24. ^ "Mars landing sites for 2020 NASA mission down to the final three". New Scientist. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  25. ^ "This Could Be Where Mars' Water Disappeared to". Gizmodo UK. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  26. ^ "Tanya Harrison". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  27. ^ Krishna, Swapna (2017-08-24). "Tanya Harrison talks Mars' geology and harassment in STEM". Syfy. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  28. ^ "Snow Can Fall on Mars". Popular Mechanics. 2017-08-21. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  29. ^ "Will the real culprit behind Mars' gullies please stand up?". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  30. ^ "November 24: Tanya N. Harrison, Ph.D: The Past and Present of Water on Mars | RASC – Mississauga Centre". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
This page was last edited on 15 January 2021, at 08:54
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