Dr. Aomawa Shields received her PhD in Astronomy and Astrobiology from the University of Washington in 2014. She also received an MFA in Acting from UCLA in 2001, and a Bachelor's degree in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences from MIT in 1997. She is currently an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, a UC President's Postdoctoral Program Fellow, and a 2015 TED Fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
Dr. Shields is the founder of Rising Stargirls, an organization dedicated to encouraging girls of all colors and backgrounds to explore and discover the universe using theater, writing, and visual art. She uses her theater and writing background to communicate science to the public in engaging, innovative ways.