Dr. Julie Rathbun’s research interests are concentrated on studying the surfaces of outer planet satellites. She uses uses ground-based telescopes in Hawaii to monitor active volcanoes on Io. From these data, she developed a model to explain how Loki, the most powerful volcano on Io, operates. She is currently using data returned from the New Horizons mission to determine which volcanoes on Io have been the most recently active.
Dr. Rathbun did her graduate work with Steven W. Squyres at Cornell University. In addition to being a research scientist at PSI, she is also an associate professor of Physics at the University of Redlands. In addition to teaching the core physics courses, she has developed classes in amusement park physics, an interdisciplinary class in geology and art, and a travel course to study Hawaiian volcanoes.
How far have we come and how far do we still need to go to welcome women into planetary science, and, particularly, spacecraft missions?