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Mapping Career Paths Through the Universe with Code: Dr. Sierra Brown’s Journey from Planetary Geochemistry to Indigenous Environmental Policy

Dr. Sierra (Weigman) Brown, a former student of the State University of New York at Fredonia, will be giving a talk titled “From Planetary Geochemistry to Indigenous Environmental Policy: Mapping Career Paths Through the Universe with Code” on Friday, April 5. The event will take place at noon in Houghton Hall Room 025 and is open to all interested individuals.

Dr. Brown is currently working as a Staff Scientist and Research Software Engineer at Million Concepts, LLC. She obtained her B.S. in Geophysics and Geochemistry from SUNY Fredonia in 2016, followed by an M.S. in 2018 and a Ph.D. in Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences from Brown University in 2022. During her graduate studies, she focused on remote sensing and geochemical modeling of the Martian surface and has been involved in various NASA missions such as Curiosity, Perseverance, and VIPER.

As an indigenous woman from the Shinnecock Nation, Dr. Brown combines traditional knowledge with modern technology through the practice of “Two-Eyed Seeing” to offer unique perspectives on environmental justice issues.

She is currently the principal investigator of a NASA Transform to Open Science Training grant called “Knowing the Sky: Building Open Science Skills through Native Knowledge Practices,” which aims to empower indigenous communities by teaching them how to use technology for their own environmental justice efforts.

Dr. Brown’s talk will provide insights into how her expertise in planetary geochemistry can be applied to indigenous environmental policy issues using code.

The event is free and open to all interested individuals who would like to learn more about how code can help indigenous communities achieve environmental justice goals while also exploring new career paths across different disciplines within science and technology fields.

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