PoSSUM Board of Advisors

Nicole Stott, NASA Astronaut (ret.)

Nicole Stott is a veteran astronaut with two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS); including 3 Space Shuttle missions (STS128, STS129, STS133), ISS Expeditions 20 & 21, and one spacewalk. Nicole brought a small watercolor kit with her on her mission to the ISS and is the first astronaut artist to paint while there.  She is also a NASA Aquanaut and holds the Women’s World Record for saturation diving following her 18 day mission with the NEEMO9 crew on the Aquarius undersea habitat.

After 28 years with NASA, she has set off on her next adventure as an Artist. Through her artwork, she will uniquely share the awesome beauty she was blessed to experience through the windows of her spacecraft, and will continue to promote the amazing things we’re doing every day in space that benefit us all right here on Earth. Combining her artwork and spaceflight experience, she is also actively working to inspire student, educator, and general public interest in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) that comes wonderfully through the integration of Art and Science.

Capt. Winston Scott, NASA Astronaut (ret.)

A former NASA astronaut, Captain Winston Scott served as a mission specialist on STS-72 in 1996 and STS-87 in 1997, and has logged a total of 24 days, 14 hours and 34 minutes in space, including 3 spacewalks totaling 19 hours and 26 minutes. Captain Scott also served as a US Navy fighter pilot, production test pilot, and as a research and development project pilot in more than 20 different aircraft.

Dr. Jancy McPhee, Neurologist and Artist

Jancy McPhee has a B.A. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Brandeis University.  She was a cellular and molecular neuroscience researcher in academia for 17 years before joining the National Space Biomedical Research Association and later the Universities Space Research Association to manage various aspects of NASA’s domestic and international space life sciences research programs.

Since 2010, her goals have been to find motivating and novel ways to enhance space education and science and technology innovation, and to promote global collaboration in human space exploration. She created the international Humans in Space Art Program to encourage people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds to think about and creatively communicate their visions of the future of human space travel through visual, literary, musical, and video art. So far, the Program has engaged 1000’s of artists, and 100,000’s have viewed multi-media artwork displays and performances online, locally on Earth, and in space.  Most recently, she established SciArt Exchange, a nonprofit to expand the Humans in Space Art Program and establish other global science-integrated-with-art activities that inspire the world about space.

Dr. Yvonne Cagle, NASA Astronaut

Dr. Yvonne Cagle’s medical training was sponsored by the Health Professions Scholarship Program, through which she received her commission as an officer with the United States Air Force. In April 1988, she became certified as a flight surgeon logging numerous hours in a diversity of aircraft. She was actively involved in mission support of aircraft providing medical support and rescue in a variety of aeromedical missions.

Selected by NASA as an astronaut in April 1996, she completed two years of training and evaluation, and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Initially assigned to the Astronaut Office Operations Planning Branch, supporting Shuttle and Space Station, followed by a special assignment to NASA’s Ames Research Center. Yvonne is currently assigned as the lead ARC Astronaut Science Liaison and Strategic Relationships Manager for Google and other Silicon Valley Programmatic Partnerships. Yvonne has contributed on-going data to the Longitudinal Study on Astronaut Health, and served as a consultant for space telemedicine, traveled to Russia to establish international medical standards and procedures for astronauts, and conducted health screenings of Mir-18 consultants from the Russian Federation. Yvonne is a certified FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner and has been ACLS Instructor qualified.

Dr. Waleed Abdalati, Former NASA Chief Scientist

Dr. Waleed Abdalati serves as the Director of the University of Colorado’s Earth Science and Observation Center, which carries out research and education activities on the use of remote sensing observations to understand the Earth.  Prior, Waleed was appointed NASA chief scientist on Jan. 3, 2011, serving as the principal adviser to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on NASA science programs, strategic planning, and the evaluation of related investments. Dr. Abdalati is also a fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University. His research has focused on the use of satellites and aircraft to understand how and why Earth’s ice cover is changing, and what those changes mean for life on our planet. He also has served as leader of the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) Science Definition Team and has led or participated in nine field and airborne campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Dr. Abdalati received a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in 1986, a Master of Science degree from the University of Colorado in 1991, and a Ph.D. from University of Colorado in 1996. Waleed has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and NASA-related technical reports, with approximately 1500 citations in the peer-reviewed literature. He has given featured lectures and keynote addresses to the United Nations, AIAA, SPIE, AGU, and various other professional and international organizations, as well as public lectures at The Smithsonian Institution, The American Museum of Natural History, and The Adler Planetarium. Waleed has received various awards and recognition, most notably the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the White House.

Ronnie Nader, Cosmonaut

Commander Ronnie Nader Bello founded the ‘Ecuador al Espacio’ Project, (Project ESAA) a privately funded astronautics initiative, aimed to start the Ecuadorian Civilian Space Program, the first civilian, non-governmental space program in history aimed to explore and help the development of the suborbital space, with the main emphasis in taking scientific experiments made by educational institutions at no cost for them, in order to help raise interest in science and to awake consciousness of the benefits for Ecuador in exploiting the suborbital and GEO resource.

On June 8 2007 Ronnie completed the ASA/T (Advanced Suborbital Astronaut /Trained) training program designed on the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center on Moscow, Russia. Ronnie is the first and, to date, the only Ecuadorian representative to the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) General Assembly, member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).  Ronnie graduated with an MS in systems engineering MCL in 1994 from the Universidad Catolica Santiago de Guayaquil He has given dozens of lectures in key scientific conferences around the world, and published more than 40 scientific papers in which he was author and co-author.  He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian.

Dr. Sean Casey, Astrophysicist 

Sean Casey is a co-founder of the Silicon Valley Space Center (SVSC).  The SVSC integrates the innovative and entrepreneurial practices of Silicon Valley into the burgeoning NewSpace industry.  This includes the Valley’s practices for business acceleration, incubation, and angel level funding.  The SVSC enables entrepreneurial start-up or early-stage companies to commercialize products or service concepts for space, and helps entrepreneurs identify niches in NewSpace markets.  SVSC incorporates the Valley’s richness of technology, business, entrepreneurial finance, and educational leadership.

Dr. Sean Casey has been a Senior Scientist with USRA’s SOFIA program since 1997 and has served as the management and technical lead for SOFIA’s science instrument development program, lead for science instrument integration and commissioning, and science liaison for the review of system level requirements for SOFIA’s final operating capability. Dr. Casey’s work has been recognized as an example of NASA’s goal for “more efficient and cost effective methodologies to [instrument] design and construction…”. He is a co-author on over 34 science publications and has a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Chicago and dual MBAs from the Berkeley Haas and Columbia Schools of Business.