Dana Backman

Dana Backman

Principal Investigator, NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Program

Disciplines: Education and Public Outreach

Degree/Major: Ph.D., Astrophysics, 1985, University of Hawai`i

Curriculum vitae: DBackman 1pg CV 2020May.pdf

dbackman@seti.org
Biography

Currently: Principal Investigator of NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program. B.Sc. in physics from MIT, Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Hawai`i. Infrared astronomy post-doctoral researcher at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona and at NASA's Ames Research Center. Professor of physics and astronomy for 12 years at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Employed by the SETI Institute as director of education and public outreach for NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) at NASA-Ames from 2003 to 2016. Has taught courses on introductory astronomy at Santa Clara University and on global climate change in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program. Co-author with Michael Seeds of three college introductory astronomy textbooks: "Horizons", “Foundations”, and “ASTRO”.

Major Awards

2014: NASA Group Achievement Awards, SOFIA Outreach Team, Lead

2012: NASA Group Achievement Award,  SOFIA AAA Pilot Program, Lead

2011: NASA Group Achievement Award, SOFIA Outreach Team, Lead

Publications

Education Conference Talks, Posters, and Abstracts 2016+

Backman et al. 2018 AAA AGU poster

Backman+Lagrange 2014 betaPic talk

Backman et al. 2009 Ap.J. epsEri paper

Backman+Paresce 1993 PP3 review

(6) "NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors Program: Evaluation of Student Outcomes," Backman, D. E.; Clark, C.; Harman, P. K., 2019, American Geophysical Union FM2019, ED32B-11.

(5) "Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) – Science & Learning Collaborations," Harman, P. K; Backman, D. E.; Clark, C., 2018, American Geophysical Union FM2018, ED41E-1243.

(4) "The Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) Program and NASA Astrophysics Connections,"Backman, Dana Edward; Clark, C; Harman, P. K., 2018, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 231, 131.05.

(3) "NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) Professional Development and NASA Connections," Backman, D. E.; Clark, C; Harman, P.K., 2017, American Geophysical Union FM2017, ED14A-02.

(2) "NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA)," Backman, D. E.; Harman, P. K.; Clark, C., 2016, American Geophysical Union  FM2016, ED42A-05.

(1) "SOFIA Technology: The NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassador (AAA) Experience and Online Resources," Clark, C.; Harman, P. K., Backman, D. E., 2016, American Geophysical Union FM2016, ED23E-03.

Invited Scientific Talks and Conference Volume Chapters

(2) "From IRAS Excesses to Debris Disks," Backman, D. & Lagrange, A.-M., 2014, conference historical introduction talk at Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, published in the proceedings volume Thirty Years of Beta Pic and Debris Disk Studies, edited by A.-M. Lagrange & A. Boccaletti.

(1) "Evolution of Circumstellar Disks Around Normal Stars: Placing Our Solar System in Context," Meyer, M. R.; Backman, D. E.; Weinberger, A. J.; Wyatt, M. C., 2007, in Protostars and Planets V, edited by B. Reipurth, D. Jewitt, & K. Keil, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 573.

Astrophysics and Planetary Science Refereed Publications 2003+

(21) "Early Science with SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy," Young, E. T.; Becklin, E. E.; Marcum, P. M.; and 38 co-authors including Backman, D., 2010, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 749, L17.

(20) "Debris Disks of Members of the Blanco 1 Open Cluster," Stauffer, John R.; Rebull, Luisa M.; James, David; and 8 co-authors including Backman, Dana, 2010, Astrophysical Journal, 719, 1859.

(19) "New Debris Disk Candidates Around 49 Nearby Stars," Koerner, D. W.; Kim, S.; Trilling, D. E.; and 7 co-authors including Backman, D., 2010, Astrophysical Journal Letters, 710, L26-L29.

(18) "Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: Properties of Debris Dust Around Solar-Type Stars," Carpenter, John M.; Bouwman, Jeroen; Mamajek, Eric E.; and 12 co-authors including Backman, Dana E., 2009, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 690, 197.

(17) "Epsilon Eridani's Planetary Debris Disk: Structure and Dynamics based on Spitzer and CSO Observations, " Backman, D.; Marengo, M.; Stapelfeldt, K.; and 9 co-authors, 2009, Astrophysical Journal, 690, 1522.

(16) "The Complete Census of 70 μm-bright Debris Disks within ‘the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems’ Spitzer Legacy Survey of Sun-like Stars," Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Carpenter, John M.; Kim, Jinyoung Serena; and 7 co-authors including Backman, Dana E., 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 677, 630. [Erratum published in 2013 Astrophysical Journal 764, 111.]

(15) "Evolution of Mid-Infrared Excess around Sun-like Stars: Constraints on Models of Terrestrial Planet Formation," Meyer, M. R.; Carpenter, J. M.; Mamajek, E. E.; and 11 co-authors including Backman, D. E., 2008, Astrophysical Journal, 673, 181.

(14) "The Dust and Gas Around beta Pictoris," Chen, C. H.; Li, A., Bohac, C.; and 12 co-authors including Backman, D., 2007, Astrophysical Journal, 666, 466.

(13) "The Frequency of Mid-Infrared Excess Sources in Galactic Surveys," Uzpen, B.; Kobulnicky, H. A.; Monson, A. J.; and 27 co-authors including Backman, D. E., 2007, Astrophysical Journal, 658, 1264.

(12) "A Reappraisal of The Habitability of Planets around M Dwarf Stars,” Tarter, J. C.; Backus, P. R.;  Mancinelli, R. L.; and 28 co-authors including Backman, Dana E., 2007, Astrobiology, 7, 30.

(11) "Discovery of Two T Dwarf Companions with the Spitzer Space Telescope", Luhman, K. L.; Patten, B. M.; Marengo, M.; and 13 co-authors including Backman, D. E., 2007, Astrophysical Journal, 654, 570.

(10) "The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: Placing Our Solar System in Context with Spitzer," Meyer, Michael R.; Hillenbrand, Lynne A.; Backman, Dana; and 32 co-authors, 2006, Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 118, 1690.

(9) "A Spitzer IRAC Search for Substellar Companions of the Debris Disk Star epsilon Eridani," Marengo, M.; Megeath, S. T.; Fazio, G. G.; and 3 co-authors including Backman, D. E., 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 647, 1437.

(8) "Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (FEPS): Primordial Warm Dust Evolution from 3 to 30 Myr around Sun-like Stars," Silverstone, M. D.; Meyer, M. R.; Mamajek, E. E.; and 14 co-authors including Backman, D. E., 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 639, 1138.
 
(7) "The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems (FEPS): Discovery of an Unusual Debris System Associated with HD 12039," Hines, Dean C.; Backman, Dana E.; Bouwman, Jeroen; and 17 co-authors, 2006, Astrophysical Journal, 638, 1070.

(6) "Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: Cold Outer Disks Associated with Sun-like Stars," Kim, Jinyoung Serena; Hines, Dean C.; Backman, Dana E.; and 24 co-authors, 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 632, 659.

(5) "Spitzer Space Telescope Observations of G Dwarfs in the Pleiades: Circumstellar Debris Disks at 100 Myr Age," Stauffer, John R.; Rebull, Luisa M.; Carpenter, John; and 12 co-authors including Backman, Dana, 2005, Astronomical Journal, 130, 1834.

(4) "Identification of Main-Sequence Stars with Mid-Infrared Excesses Using GLIMPSE: beta Pictoris Analogs?", Uzpen, B.; Kobulnicky, H. A.; Olsen, K. A. G.; and 23 co-authors including Backman, D. E., 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 629, 512.

(3) "Radial Distribution of Dust Grains around HR 4796A," Wahhaj, Z.; Koerner, D. W.; Backman, D. E.; and 4 co-authors, 2005, Astrophysical Journal, 618, 285.

(2) "The Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems: First Results from a Spitzer Legacy Science Program," Meyer, M. R.; Hillenbrand, L. A.; Backman, D. E.; and 34 co-authors, 2004, Astrophysical Journal Supplement, 154, 422.

(1) "Why are the K dwarfs in the Pleiades so Blue?," Stauffer, J. R.; Jones, B. F.; Backman, D. E.; and 5 co-authors, 2003, Astronomical Journal, 126, 833.
 

Related projects

NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors