NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
My research focuses on ascertaining as much as possible about “alien planets” using sparse data sets. For early Earth and other terrestrial planets, I work on utilizing isotopic trends as proxies for atmospheric processes and elemental cycling. This includes work on the fundamental controls on Fe isotope fractionation and on global controls on mass-independent Sulfur isotope fractionation (S-MIF). For extrasolar planets, I help develop spectroscopy-based characterization techniques that can inform us about a planet’s surface climate, habitability, and ecosystems.
I’m also extremely passionate about science communication, and believe it is our responsibility as publicly-funded scientists to bring the results of our research back to the public. To this end, I’ve helped organize FameLab events in the U.S. and am always looking for new opportunities to talk about NASA science in public forums.
In 2016 – Shawn was named to the Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) for the HabEx telescope and was named the Deputy Study Scientist for the LUVOIR telescope. Both of these missions are being studied by NASA’s Astrophysics division in advance of the 2020 Decadal Survey, and both will include attempts to directly image, characterize, and search for life on rocky planets around other stars.
July 27-29, 2016 – Shawn co-chaired the NExSS Exoplanetary Biosignatures Workshop Without Walls.
NAI Project Collaborators
- Project collaborators as reported by the latest NAI Annual Report.
Phone:301 614 6245