Congratulations to two of our NExSS community members, Dr. Adam Frank and Dr. Lynnae Quick, who have both won career awards from the American Astronomy Society’s Division of Planetary Sciences!

Dr. Adam Frank (professor at the University of Rochester and PI of the Characterizing Atmospheric Technosignatures team) won one of this year’s Carl Sagan Medals for “founding continuously sustained efforts and solid platforms from which science can be distributed to the public in an accessible form.” The official DPS announcement lists out some of his other achievements: “He was the co-founder of the National Public Radio 13.7 blog, a frequent contributor to the New York Times, and the creator of the Coursera course ‘Confronting the Big Questions: Highlights of Modern Astronomy.’ The 13.7 Cosmos and Culture blog was a highly trafficked science blog with yearly visits exceeding 13 million. Frank has also been a regular on-air commentator for NPR’s news show ‘All Things Considered.’ Dr. Frank contributes to other publications like The Washington Post, The Atlantic and Scientific American and has authored four popular books arguing for the beauty of science and against science denial. He was also science advisor for Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ and has appeared on numerous science documentaries such as Netflix’s ‘Alien Worlds’.”

Dr. Frank also helped plan and was moderator for the Technosignatures Webinar, which you can watch on YouTube or here on the NExSS site. You can follow him on Twitter to learn about more of his science and science communication works!

Dr. Lynnae Quick (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and PI of the Role of Cryovolcanism in Creating Habitable Niches on Exoplanets Beyond the Snow Line team) has been awarded the 2021 Harold C. Urey Prize for outstanding achievement in planetary research by an early career scientist. From the official DPS announcement: “Dr. Quick’s innovative scientific work focuses on geophysical processes writ large, reaching from the inner solar system, through the asteroid belt, to ocean worlds, and into the exoplanetary realm. She has revisited modeling of (cryo)lava domes on Venus and Europa, was the first to model the formation of Ceres’ ‘bright spots’ via the transport of material from a deep brine reservoir to the surface, has repeatedly provided new insights into plumes on Jupiter’s moon Europa, and shed light on the abundance of extrasolar ocean worlds. In addition to her scientific pursuits, Dr. Quick is exceptionally engaged in the broader research community through her proactive leadership as a co-investigator on several space missions, as a member of the Outer Planets Assessment Group steering committee, the Planetary Science Decadal Survey 2023-2032 panel on ocean worlds and dwarf planets, and the National Society of Black Physicists. Dr. Quick’s advocacy work to diversify the field is particularly notable. She has mentored many early career planetary scientists and is leading the Dragonfly Student and Early Career Investigator Program. Every aspect of Dr. Quick’s career represents a positive outlook for the future of our community.” Dr. Quick is also a member of the Network for Ocean Worlds (NOW) Astrobiology RCN.

Dr. Quick earned her PhD from Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 2014. She is and has been a mentor to many in the NExSS community and beyond, and always has a kind word of encouragement for anyone who needs it. We are thrilled to see her accomplishments recognized on a grand scale!

Congratulations to both Dr. Frank and Dr. Quick on their awards! Be sure to watch the awards ceremony at this year’s DPS meeting if you are attending!

For more write-ups on their awards:
Official DPS press release:
Press release about Dr. Frank from the University of Rochester:
NASA press release about Dr. Lynnae Quick: