Ariel Waldman currently sits on the council for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program, which aims to nurture radical, science-fiction-inspired ideas that could transform future space missions. She is also the founder of Spacehack.org, a directory for citizen scientist participation in space exploration, and is the global director of Science Hack Day — a grassroots science prototyping initiative that takes place in more than 25 countries. Waldman was recognized by the Obama administration in 2013 as a Champion of Change in Citizen Science. She is the author of the book What’s It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There and co-author of a congressionally requested National Academy of Sciences report on the future of human spaceflight.
Waldman began her career at an interactive ad agency in her home state of Kansas while attending art school at the Kansas City Art Institute. But after watching the Discovery Channel mini-series When We Left Earth (2008), Waldman was so deeply inspired that she emailed NASA to offer her services. Her unbridled enthusiasm landed her a job at the agency, paving the way for her to embark on a lifelong mission to make science and space exploration disruptively accessible. Committed to this mission, Waldman continues to find clever new ways to encourage fellow enthusiasts to actively contribute to the advancement of science and space exploration.
Supported by Design Core Detroit Detroit Month of Design, U‑M Institute for the Humanities, University Musical Society (UMS), Michigan Engineering, and Decipher: 2018 Design Educators Research Conference.
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