Issue 16 - April 2016

Photo of Karl Stapelfeldt

New ExEP Chief Scientist Named: Karl Stapelfeldt
By Gary Blackwood

I am delighted to announce the selection of Dr. Karl Stapelfeldt as the Chief Scientist for the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program. Karl brings to the Program extensive expertise in high-contrast imaging, circumstellar disks, exo-zodiacal dust emission, and mission studies for exoplanet characterization.

Karl earned a B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Physics at Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics at Caltech. Karl’s distinguished career at NASA includes positions at both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and most recently at the Goddard Space Flight Center, where he has served as the Chief of Goddard's Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics Laboratory since 2011.

Karl’s NASA science contributions include project science roles for the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes and science observations using the Herschel Space Observatory. Karl has been the Principal or Co-Investigator on scores of peer-reviewed space science research grants. He recently served as chair of the Exoplanet-Coronagraph Probe-Scale Science and Technology Definition Team, and as a member of the Astrophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council. At JPL Karl will join the Astrophysics and Space Sciences Section.

In his role as Program Chief Scientist, Karl will represent the science needs and lead the science strategy for the Exoplanet Exploration Program, a NASA program office managed by JPL on behalf of the NASA Astrophysics Division. He began his new role effective 1 February 2016.

Gary H. Blackwood, PhD
Manager, NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program