Padma A. Yanamandra-Fisher
Padma studies the nature of light scattering in various media pertaining to the solar system. Her current research focusses on seasonal and temporal changes on Jupiter and Saturn; understanding the thermophysical properties of solar system ices, including observations and models of comets; and polarimetric exploration of the solar system, including the Sun. Her observational programs involve acquisition of data from both global professional facilities such as NASA/IRTF, NOAJ/Subaru, ESO/VLT; and amateur indiviuals and robotic networks such as Slooh.com, iTelescope.Net. Another dimension of Padma's active research is the inclusion of amateur astronomers in her Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) Project, identifying Pro-Am observing campaigns ranging from comets to planets and polarization. Recent examples include NASA's Comet ISON and SidingSpring campaigns; ESA's Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG); development of a polarimetric network for polarization mapping of the outer planets. Converting these campaigns into Citizen Science projects has led to the inclusion of a wider set of researchers and citizen scientists - the recent example being the measurement of the inner solar corona polarization using the Citizen CATE framework during the Total Solar Eclipse (TSE) on 21 August 2017. Additional education/outreach efforts incude informal education, mentoring of students, organizing outreach sessions at scientific meetings and reviewer of NASA education products.
Padma received her Ph.D. from University of Denver, with her thesis addressing particle size distribution in Saturn's and Uranus' rings, using Voyager 2 data. She did her Post-Doc at JPL during the Voyager 2 - Neptune encounter and joined the Earth and Planetary Atmospehres group at JPL as a Research Scientist. Her extra-curricular activities involve travel (a favorite destination is Hawaii); gardening; wine-making and enjoying family and friends.