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Dr. Patricia Knezek

Dr. Patricia Knezek


Dr. Patricia Knezek was an astronomy undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, and graduate student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, receiving her Astronomy Ph.D. in 1993. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, and also held scientist positions at the Carnegie Institution of Washington,
The Johns Hopkins University, and the Space Telescope Science Institute, in Baltimore before taking her current position in 2001. She is currently an Assistant Scientist/Instrumentation Project Manager for the WIYN Consortium which manages the the WIYN 3.5 m telescope on Kitt Peak, near Tucson Observatory.

Dr. Knezek’s main area of research concentrates in the evolution of gas-rich, low surface brightness galaxies (LSBs), and their star formation histories. She also studies actively star-forming dwarf galaxies. While a postdoc at the University of Michigan, and a REU advisor at NOAO, she has involved undergraduates in her large optical and near-infrared imaging program of LSBs, enabling each to complete an independent research project.

Dr. Knezek has been actively involved in public outreach since she was an undergraduate at the University of Texas and ran the weekly public observing nights. She has given numerous public talks and contributed to the various education and public outreach web pages. She is currently involved in the development of “Project Astro-Chile,” serving as a science consultant. She has also served as an advisor for undergraduates through NOAO’s REU program.

Dr. Knezek is dedicated to encouraging women in science. She has participated in such activities as the “Summerscience for Girls” program for junior high school students at the University of Michigan, and the Women’s Science Forum Event at the Maryland Science Center. She mentors high school students through the “Women in Science & Engineering (WISE) High School Mentoring Program”. She currently serves as chair of the AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy (CSWA), as well as co-editor of the CSWA’s bi-annual magazine, STATUS, and its weekly electronic newsletter, AASWOMEN. She was actively involved in the organization of the “Women in Astronomy II” meeting held in Pasadena June 27th & 28th, 2003.