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Heather Nelson
Pennsylvania State University

Heather Nelson is the Assistant Director of the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium and the E/PO coordinator for the Penn State Astrobiology Research Center (PSARC). She spends the majority of her time finding new ways to get students, teachers, and the general public excited about learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. She has been a self-proclaimed “NASA nut” since she was a kid and frequently states that she has found her dream job. Heather started her higher education career at Penn State as an engineering major, completed her B.S. in Environmental Resource Management, and worked in the geosciences department at Penn State for 10 years, which is why she has a passion for helping women pursue STEM career goals. Her office now coordinates Exploration Day at Penn State, a K-12 science fair that brings more than 2500 kids and parents to Penn State for a day in the spring to learn about astrobiology and other science careers. They also plan summer workshops for educators that host more than 100 in-service teachers in the summer for instruction on everything from Earth’s history to telescopes. They are always looking for new ways to inspire kids with NASA science and she looks forward to continuing that pursuit for many years. Heather spends much of her free time outdoors with her husband and two dogs and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to work for NASA.

NAI Project Collaborators

Past NAI Teams