Cosmic Origins
Searching for answers about our universe and its origins

Program News and Announcements

27 February 2024

Cosmic Pathfinders Program: Cosmic Chatter Seminar | Thursday, February 29th | 2:30p – 4:00p ET

ASTRO Careers Roadmap Workshop

The Cosmic Pathfinder Program will be hosting a workshop highlighting the many career pathways in astronomy & physics than spans academia, government, and industry. Join this interactive and engaging workshop to explore a roadmap of how to matriculate within the fields of astronomy & physics and what a potential career could look like. Hear from the student leaders and program director about making the nontraditional career path mainstream.

Time/Date: Thursday, February 29th | 2:30p – 4:00p ET

Connection information can be found here.

Cosmic Chatter is a series of regularly scheduled, virtual / online colloquia within the Cosmic Pathfinders Program aimed at an early-career science audience. These events will feature prepared remarks from an invited speaker as well as time for discussion and programmatic announcements. Presentation topics will consist of a combination of astrophysics research, as well as professional development topics relevant to this early-career audience.

Reach out to the program Director Dr. Ronald Gamble (ronald.s.gamble@nasa.gov) for further inquiries or questions.


NASA Cosmic Pathfinders Program

Dear Colleagues,

The newly formed Cosmic Pathfinders Program has been created by Dr. Ronald Gamble (NASA GSFC Astrophysics Science Division, Cosmic Origins Program Office) and co-lead by a council of student/early-career leaders to address the needs of students in the field of astrophysics and space sciences. Cosmic Pathfinders is a student-focused program of online events and in-person gatherings that provides an interface to NASA astrophysics. It is motivated by an immediate need to develop the next generation of the STEM workforce in space-related fields. The program includes an ongoing series of virtual colloquia, called Cosmic Chatter, that addresses astrophysics research and professional development topics.

Current student leadership includes:

  • Amethyst Barnes (NASA GSFC/CRESST-II Post-Bac, Roman/STScI)
  • Jordan Forman (NASA GSFC/CRESST-II Post-Bac, FERMI)
  • Gokul Srinivasaragavan (Doctoral Candidate, UMCP Department of Astronomy)
  • Isiah Holt (NASA Pathways Intern & Doctoral Candidate, UMCP Department of Astronomy)

Furthermore, a unique aspect to the activities of the program will be technical hack-a-thons that offer participants the opportunity to learn relevant tools and techniques for analyzing NASA mission & archival datasets. Finally, the program sponsors in-person sessions at professional society meetings and opportunities for engagement with the NASA astrophysics community.

  • Promote Open Dialogue: The program facilitates discussions on prominent challenges that students face in today's STEM professional landscape.
  • Nurture Professional Growth: The program will access key topics pertaining to issues surrounding Imposter Syndrome, Career Navigation, Conference Participation, Cultural Inclusivity, and Accessibility. The program addresses intersectionality of these topics with scientific and mathematical skills and other professional scientific skills.
  • Broaden Horizons: The program creates exposure and opportunities for students to develop relationships with professionals from a range of space science disciplines in academia, government, and private industry.

Members of the program who are at the same university may self-organize into university chapters. Such groups further galvanize the engagement of students with NASA astrophysics. Chapters are modeled after similar campus organizations such as the Society of Physics Students. They present a unique opportunity for students to connect with a national network of astronomers, astrophysicists, and space scientists, and foster a sense of belonging within the larger scientific community.

Interested students, early-careers in STEM, and professionals can interface and join the dedicated LinkedIn group here to further connect with other members of the program.

Follow the link for more information about the program.

Reach out to the program Director Dr. Ronald Gamble (ronald.s.gamble@nasa.gov) for further inquiries or questions.

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