Christine Ray will serve as GSA’s 2022-2023 Science Policy Fellow. Christine grew up in New Jersey, where her high school science classes, along with a plethora of hiking and camping trips to various New Jersey state parks, first inspired her love for science and the natural world. She double-majored in animal sciences and astrophysics at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University, where she first got a taste of the interface between people and the environment, and developed a fondness for science teaching and communication. She moved on to pursue a PhD in the joint program between the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Southwest Research Institute, where she combined her interests in space and life sciences studying the habitability of moons in the outer solar system for her doctoral dissertation. Christine completed her PhD at the end of 2021, and served as a postdoc at Southwest Research Institute afterwards.
During her time in San Antonio, Christine worked on multiple NASA planetary science missions where she came to appreciate the role that policy plays in the science world, including the Cassini mission to Saturn, and the Europa Clipper mission that will launch in 2024 and explore Jupiter’s moon Europa. She was also active in both science communication and science policy. She helped run science outreach events at SwRI such as Astronomy on Tap, was involved in several projects through the National Science Policy Network, volunteered with local political groups, participated in several Congressional visit days, and served on the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (AAS DPS) Federal Relations Subcommittee, working to advocate for planetary sciences in the federal government. In her free time, Christine also enjoys hiking and backpacking through Texas’ two national parks, rock climbing, scuba diving, and taking photos of all of her adventures.