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Debra Meloy Elmegreen Biography Bruce G. Elmegreen Biography Michelle Kaufman Biography Elias Brinks Biography Curt J. Struck Biography Magnus Thomasson Biography Maria Sundin Biography Mario Klaric Biography
Debra Elmegreen in her office
Debra Meloy Elmegreen

Debra Meloy Elmegreen

Dr. Debra Meloy Elmegreen writes "I was born in South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in Fairfax, Virginia. I got an A.B. in Astrophysics from Princeton, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard. I was a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow at the (formerly named) Hale Observatories in Pasadena, and then an IBM visiting scientist. I have been on the Vassar College faculty since 1985, and am Professor of Astronomy holding the Maria Mitchell Chair.

"The skies were very dark in Indiana, and my fascination with astronomy began when I got a telescope in first grade. My life-long love of the heavens developed into my profession automatically from those early star-gazing days. Science fair projects in astronomy throughout high school fanned my interest, as well as undergraduate summers as a research assistant at Kitt Peak and at Arecibo.

"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene.

"I enjoy observing galaxies at optical, infrared, and radio wavelengths, and hope to contribute more to the understanding of star formation and structure in galaxies. I have written an undergraduate textbook on "Galaxies and Galactic Structure," published last year by Prentice Hall. I enjoy involving my undergraduates in my research to give them a sense of the scientific endeavor.

"My husband, Bruce, is also an astronomer (and involved in this project too). We met at Princeton when I was an undergraduate and he was a graduate student. Our teen-age children often accompanied us to AAS meetings or observatories when they were young. During our spare time we...what spare time??"