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Claudia J. Alexander - Windows to the Universe

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Dr. Alexander earned a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan She received a Master's Degree from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Claudia J. Alexander

I am a scientist who specializes in the physics of comet interiors and comet evolution. This means I know a lot about different kinds of ice in the solar system. I spend a lot of time thinking about how comets and the solar system evolved. I also study magnetospheres. Part of my current job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, involves working for two instruments studying Jupiter's magnetosphere on the Galileo spacecraft. Other kinds of science I especially like are climate studies, especially paleoclimate, atmospheric science, and everything related to other planets.

I got to be a scientist by accident. I wanted to be a journalist but my parents wanted me to be an engineer, and they were paying for school, so I had to do what they said. I found it was a lot more fun to think about the flow of water in a river than water in the city sewer, so I switched to earth-science (geophysics). I always hated math, but I am sure glad I took all the classes I did, because math is a very important tool to use when studying the Earth and planets!

Besides working as a scientist, there are other things I like to do. I like to go horseback riding (hunt-seat), although I'm starting to think that dressage might be fun. This picture shows me after one of my afternoons of riding. I have my goggles on, but I seem to have lost a button on my vest somewhere in the woods. I also like to ski and I've been to Vail and Aspen. I like the traveling part of my job, and I've been to England, Montreal, and Vancouver, as well as other cool places in the U.S.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF