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Astronomer Caitlin Casey Named a 2019 Cottrell Scholar

Astronomer Caitlin Casey Named a 2019 Cottrell Scholar
Caitlin Casey has been named a 2019 Cottrell Scholar.

Caitlin Casey, UT Austin astronomy assistant professor, has been named a 2019 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).

Each year the RCSA selects 24 Cottrell Scholar Awards recipients from top early career "teacher-scholars" in chemistry, physics and astronomy. Recipients receive a $100,000 research grant and an invitation to the Cottrell Scholar Conference, which will take place in July in Tucson, Ariz.

Cottrell Scholars are chosen through a peer-review process based on their proposals for research and education programs. Casey will use the award to continue researching the formation of the universe using millimeter-wave technology, a relatively new development which allows for the direct observation of cosmic dust and gas. Telescopes, the main way that galaxy formation has been studied, observe light emitted from stars. However, all the dust and gas in the universe can obscure some of this light. By taking a census of dust-obscured star-forming galaxies in the first two billion years after the Big Bang, Casey hopes to correct and enhance current understandings of galaxy formation and evolution.

The educational component of Casey's proposal, Diverse Perspectives: The Impact of Dust and Gas on Cosmic History and Equity-Minded Inquiry-based Astronomy, includes designing six learning activities, focusing on both astronomy content and skills. The activities will be designed to reach and retain underrepresented minorities, especially Black, LatinX and Native American students. They will be facilitated through TAURUS (Texas Astronomy Undergraduate Research Experience for Underrepresented Students), which Casey founded and directs, and eventually incorporated into five undergraduate astronomy courses.

Casey is the seventh UT Austin professor to be named a Cottrell Scholar. She joins Sean Roberts (2018), Stella Offner (2018), Michael Rose (2017), Michael Krische (2002), and David Vanden Bout (2000) and Andrew Ellington (1995).

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Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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