Amanda Green Date of birth: July 25, 1979 Born: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada  Motto: Be the spark that ignites a flame in the lives of others. Favourite Pastimes: Exploring nature and new places Favourite Subjects in School: Science, Outdoor, Education Job Title: Junior High STEM Teacher Education: Bachelor of Secondary Education Organization: Black Gold Regional Schools Julie Arsenault Date of birth: November 8, 1975 Born: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  Motto: From failure we learn. Favourite Pastime: Travel Favourite Subjects in School: Science, Drama Job Title: Junior High Science Teacher Education: Bachelor of Science Specialization in Microbiology; Master of Science in Microbiology and Biotechnology. Organization: Michael Strembitsky School, Edmonton Public Schools Meet Amanda and Julie Amanda and Julie are passionate STEM educators who thrive when collaborating on authentic inquiry-based projects that are often inspired by themes of space exploration. Their latest endeavor focused on the colonization of Mars and the Moon and included plant growth in combinations of Earth soil and Mars or Lunar simulant regolith, building and insulating model space habitats or greenhouses, studying sustainable energy sources, and coding Micro:bit automated monitoring systems. Amanda and Julie love to share their “spark” for STEM and hope to one day maybe put a maple leaf on the Moon or Mars! Recently, they were jointly awarded the Alberta Teachers Association Science Council Outstanding Science Teacher Award. Q&A How did you come to your present job or role? We both had a spark for science at a young age, Amanda exploring nature with her family and Julie wanting to help a childhood friend with diabetes.  After our respective studies we began teaching science and loving the challenge of finding creative ways to make the subject material come alive for our students.  We met at a science conference and began working together on some small projects. Over time, we realized how much we had in common and have been collaborating on more in-depth projects ever since. What do you love most about your job? We love that we get to learn something new every day and that our lessons evolve and change with new discoveries and challenges around us.  It’s especially fun to take an interest like space and weave it so seamlessly into a variety of our lessons that excite and engage our students.   What has been your biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? The biggest challenge is finding enough time and resources to do everything that we want to do!  Right now is an exciting time to be a Canadian in love with space, but there is a lot of work to be done to get us to the Moon and Mars.  In our classrooms we work on everything from robotics and coding to growing plants and learning about alternative energy resources. To accomplish all of this, time is needed  to collaborate, research current advancements, implement meaningful lessons and projects that line up with our curriculum, and of course, find funding for these unique opportunities. Who or what has helped you the... Read more
Born: Toronto, Ontario Canada Motto: Tough means we are forever accountable for what we do or what we fail to do… Competent means we will never take anything for granted Pastimes: Playing / listening to music Education: BASc – Engineering Science, Major in Aerospace Engineering Job Title: Operations Engineer – Robotics Flight Controller Organization: Canadian Space Agency Kristen is currently working as a Flight Controller for the Canadian robotic systems on the International Space Station (ISS). She is one of only 14 Canadians to have ever received this certification. During Canadarm2 and Dextre operations, she works as part of the Mission Control team to execute a variety of tasks on the ISS, including spacewalks and capturing free-flyers. Kristen also trains astronauts and other Flight Controllers about these robots and how to operate them. Q & A  Q & A   How did you come to your present job? 10 years ago, upon graduating from the University of Toronto, I was hired by MDA (now Maxar) to help design next-generation robotics that would be used to service satellites on-orbit. From there, I went on to perform real-time support of ISS robotics as part of the engineering team before being hired by the Canadian Space Agency and eventually moving on to train at NASA in order to become a Flight Controller. What do you love most about your job? The best part of my job is that I am constantly learning. No matter how much you know or how well prepared you think you are, there is always room to grow. Then there are of course all the cool aspects of the job like sending commands to space, training astronauts, and watching live video feeds from the ISS. What has been your biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? My career has evolved through 5 different roles and 3 different cities, which in itself was challenging enough! Unfortunately, with each of these stages, I felt that I was starting back at square one and needing to prove my capabilities all over again. In some cases, being one of the only women in the group made that even more difficult, in addition to being one of the younger members of the team. I kept reminding myself that I deserved to be exactly where I was, and that my contributions were just as valuable as those around me. Who or what has helped you the most throughout your career? My family has been incredibly supportive of my goals and aspirations, and always pushed me to reach for each next step I’ve taken on. I have also maintained the “tough and competent” mentality as well as a willingness to accept and implement feedback and advice from my colleagues. Do you have any Canadian “superheroes” in the space field? Absolutely! I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by my superheroes every day! As someone who joined the space industry only 10 years ago, I admire everyone that helped get us here. What advice would you offer to our youth? There are so many things that I still try to keep in mind to this day, and important messages to share... Read more
Date of birth: March 21, 1982 Born: Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada Pastimes: Backcountry skiing, cycling, mountaineering and paragliding Background: Test pilot, fighter pilot, engineer, lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force Education: Bachelor in mechanical engineering; master in space studies; master in flight test engineering; master in defence studies Flight certification: Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), fixed wing experimental test pilot, fighter pilot, civilian and military instructor pilot; 2,800 hours of flying experience on more than 25 aircraft types Languages: English, French Mission: Astronaut Candidate Training Program Personal Data: Born March 21, 1982, in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) Kutryk was raised on a cattle farm in eastern Alberta. He enjoys backcountry skiing, cycling, mountaineering and paragliding. Education: LCol Kutryk holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering (1st Class Distinction) from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario (2004). He also earned a master’s degree in space studies from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida (2009), a master’s degree in flight test engineering from the United States Air Force’s Air University in Alabama (2012), and a master’s degree in defence studies from the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario (2014). Organizations: Canadian Armed Forces, 2000 to present; Society of Experimental Test Pilots, 2015 to present. Special Honours: Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference Delegate (2015), Liethen-Tittle Award for top test pilot graduate (2012), Distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (2012), Canadian Forces Decoration (2012), Article 5 NATO Medal (2011), Southwest Asia General Campaign Star (2010), Tristan de Koninck Trophy for F-18 flying skill (2007), City of Moose Jaw flying trophy (2006), A.C. Leonard Birchall Award for undergraduate research (2004), Top Overall Flying Proficiency during primary flight training (2003), Professional Engineers of Ontario Undergraduate Academic Scholarship (2002), Right Honourable Don Mazankowski Scholarship (2001), Governor General’s Academic Medal (2000), Neil Armstrong Memorial Scholarship (2000), Alexander Rutherford Scholarship for Academic Achievement (1999). voir en français Experience: Prior to joining the Canadian Space Program, LCol Kutryk worked as an experimental test pilot and a fighter pilot in Cold Lake,... Read more
Quote: “Though she be but little she is fierce.” -Shakepeare Favourite pastime: Soccer and word puzzles Born: Before Jeremy Hansen Favourite subjects in school: Math and English Education: Bachelor of Arts in Physics, PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics Job title: Science Advisor to the President & Associate Professor Company/organization: Canadian Space Agency (CSA) & Western University The Science Advisor is the liaison between the space science community and the CSA and between the CSA and the Chief Science Advisor of Canada. The purpose of this type of job is to put people with scientific expertise and an independent perspective in positions where they can talk to and influence decision makers in the government. Q&A How did you come to your present job or role? The job description called for someone with a space science background, strong communication skills, and vision. I have been involved in space astronomy since I was on an instrument team for the Chandra X-ray Observatory as a graduate student. As an astronomer, I use space data from several different observatories regularly for my research. I developed my communication skills through teaching and astronomy outreach, and my leadership abilities by serving on national boards for the Canadian Astronomical Society including the advisory committee for CSA space astronomy. I’ve also been involved with developing the science cases for next generation observatories and a renewed investment in Canadian space exploration. What do you love most about your job? I am approached regularly by people at the CSA and across Canada who want to tell me about the cool things they are doing in space science and space technology. The creativity and energy for space activities is fantastic and inspiring – I love learning about all of this great work. What has been your biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? At several points during my career I’ve had a major setback. Some examples: I failed a big exam, I didn’t get a job that meant we had to move, and I got a big cut in money to fund my research program. These were demoralizing and humiliating at the time. I recovered by catching my breath, re-evaluating my situation, and using the support from family, friends, and colleagues to come up with a plan for moving forward. Who or what has helped you the most throughout your career? I’d like to give a specific shout-out to my graduate school roommate and classmate, Dr. Ann Hornschemeier, who has been the Chief... Read more
Date of birth: January 27, 1976 Born: London, Ontario Pastimes: Sailboat cruising and racing, rock climbing and mountain biking Background: Fighter pilot Education: Bachelor of science in space science; master of science in physics Flight certification: Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) Languages: English, French, basic knowledge of Russian Mission: Waiting for a flight assignment Personal Data: Born January 27, 1976, in London, Ontario, and raised on a farm near Ailsa Craig, Ontario, until moving to Ingersoll for his high school years. Colonel Hansen is married with three children. He enjoys sailboat cruising and racing, rock climbing and mountain biking. Education: Colonel Hansen holds a bachelor of science in space science (first class honours) from Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario (1999). He earned a master of science in physics from the same institution in 2000, with a research focus on Wide Field of View Satellite Tracking. Organizations: Canadian Armed Forces, 1994 to present Special Honours: Canadian Forces Decoration – 12 Years of Good Service (October 2006), Canadian Air Force Pilot Wings (May 2002), Clancy Scheldrup Memorial Trophy – Outstanding Graduate on the Basic Flying Course (2001), Air Cadet League of Canada Award – Top Air Force Graduate from the Royal Military College of Canada (May 1999), The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012). Experience: Prior to joining the Canadian Space Program, Colonel Hansen served as a CF-18 fighter pilot and held the position of Combat Operations Officer at 4 Wing in Cold Lake, Alberta. His responsibilities included ensuring the effectiveness of NORAD Air Defense Operations and the operability of Deployed and Forward Operating Locations (Bases). From 2004 to 2007, Colonel Hansen served as a CF-18 fighter pilot with 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron and 441 Tactical Fighter Squadron, where his responsibilities included NORAD Operations, Deployed Exercises and Arctic Flying Operations. He completed his CF-18 Fighter Pilot Training in 410 Tactical Fighter Operational Training Squadron from 2003 to 2004. Colonel Hansen’s flight experience began at the age of 12, when he joined the Air Cadet Program. He obtained both glider and private pilot licenses through this program by the age of 17. This training led to his acceptance to Collège militaire royal in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Astronaut Experience: Colonel Hansen was one of two recruits selected by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) in... Read more
Born: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Education: Bachelor’s, environmental geography Master’s, geography (fluvial geomorphology) Ph.D., geography (periglacial geomorphology & comparative planetology) Directorate: Space Exploration Projects at the CSA: OSIRIS-REx, Mars Sample Return Simulation “My job is basically science fiction. I’m helping find ways to shoot lasers at asteroids; I can’t believe I’m paid to do that! I’m also on an international committee that’s developing the plan for how we would deal with Mars samples if and when such samples are returned to Earth. So we’re making recommendations on behalf of Planet Earth! I’ve been a space nut since I was a kid. I grew up on a farm in rural Saskatchewan. My closest neighbour was three miles away, and it was my grandmother! I used to sit on my deck at night and stare at the sky, this beautiful blanket of stars. I still feel like a little kid. There’s still the wonder and there’s still the hope and there’s still the excitement about what we’re doing and where we’re going.” @ Canadian Space Agency Tim Haltigin is a geomorphologist, in other words a scientist studying why landscapes look the way they do. Since the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft launched towards asteroid Bennu in September 2016, he has managed the Canadian laser instrument that will map the asteroid to help identify the best place for the spacecraft to collect a sample for return to Earth. Tim is the classic case of “follow your passion”. He first studied biochemistry, researching malaria at the Toronto General Hospital. He switched to geography and did his Master’s on Trout River habitat rehabilitation, hydraulics and fluid dynamics. After participating for fun with friends in a European Space Agency contest on how to find water on Mars, he was recruited by the professor supervising their contest team to do a Ph.D. on permafrost, comparing landscapes in the Canadian high Arctic with similar ones on Mars. Copy of  “Tim Haltigin – Senior Mission Scientist, Planetary Exploration” available at http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/humans/tim-haltigin.asp © Canadian Space... Read more
Date of birth: January 6, 1970 Born: Saint-Lambert, Quebec, Canada Motto: Anything worth doing is worth doing right Pastimes: David is a lifelong mountaineer, cyclist, skier and avid sailor Background: Engineer, astrophysicist, family doctor Flight certification: Commercial pilot license with multi-engine and instrument ratings Education: Bachelor of engineering in engineering physics; Ph.D. in astrophysics; medical degree Languages: French and English, and basic Russian, Spanish and Japanese Mission: Expedition 58 Personal Data: Born on January 6, 1970, in Quebec City, Canada, and raised in Saint-Lambert near Montreal, Canada. He is married and has three children. He is a lifelong mountaineer, cyclist, skier and avid sailor. He also holds a commercial pilot licence with multi-engine and instrument ratings and an advanced scuba-diving licence. Saint-Jacques is fluent in English and French and can also converse in Russian, Spanish and Japanese. Education: Saint-Jacques earned a bachelor of engineering in engineering physics from École polytechnique de Montréal, Canada (1993). He earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Cambridge University, UK (1998). He earned his M.D. from Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada (2005), and completed his family medicine residency at McGill University in Montreal, Canada (2007), where his training focused on first-line, isolated medical practice. Organizations: Collège des médecins du Québec, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, International Society for Optics and Photonics, Life Fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Aerospace Medical Association, Wilderness Medical Society. Special Honours: Royal Canadian Geographical Society Gold Medal (2014), Médaille d’honneur de l’Assemblée nationale du Québec (2013), Canada Millennium Scholarship (2001 to 2005), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Post-doctoral Fellowship (1999 to 2001), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada “1967” Science and Engineering Scholarship (1994 to 1998), Canadian Space Agency Supplement Scholarship (1994 to 1998), Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Honorary Scholar (1994 to 1998), United Kingdom Overseas Research Student Award... Read more
Date of birth: August 3, 1988 Born: Calgary, Alberta, Canada Motto: Fortune favors the brave Pastimes: cycling, rugby, and teaching Background: Mechanical engineer, combustion scientist, and lecture Education: Bachelor in mechanical engineering; Ph.D. in engineering (combustion) Languages: English, basic French Mission: Astronaut Candidate Training Program Personal Data: Born August 3, 1988, in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Sidey-Gibbons enjoys cycling, rugby and teaching. Education: Dr. Sidey-Gibbons holds an honours bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec (2011). While at McGill, she conducted research on flame propagation in microgravity in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the National Research Council Flight Research Laboratory. She then moved to the United Kingdom (UK) to earn a Ph.D. in engineering with a focus on combustion from the University of Cambridge (2015). Organizations: University of Cambridge Special Honours: Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Woman Engineer of the Year Award (2016); Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) Young Engineer of the Year Award (2016). Meet “Jenni” Prior to joining the Canadian Space Program, Dr. Sidey-Gibbons worked as an assistant professor in internal combustion engines at the Department of Engineering of the University of Cambridge. The focus of her research was flames, how we use them, and how to stop them from emitting harmful pollutants. Precisely, she worked on the development of low-emission combustors for gas turbine engines. She also taught undergraduate and graduate students in the Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery Division on topics ranging from conventional and alternative energy production to introductory thermodynamics and flame physics. Aside from these formal responsibilities, she also actively acted as a role... Read more