Role Model: Dr. Jennifer Heldmann

Back story

I have always been interested in the study of space. I remember that we learned about the planets one day in third grade and from then I was hooked (even though I never officially studied the solar system again until I was in college)!

My friend introduced me to the movie “Space Camp” when I was 10 years old and after that we would set up our own shuttle “cockpit” and re-enact the mission from lift-off to landing. My fascination with all aspects of space only grew as I got older and I continued to learn as much as I could about astronomy, the planets, and all aspects of human space flight.

Working hard in school was definitely critical to preparing me for my job. Not only did I learn a great deal about a wide variety of subjects but I also learned how to work effectively on my own, as well as in a group, which is very important.
I like that everyday I get to come to work and do something different than what I did the day before. Each day is a new challenge and offers me the opportunity to discover something new about the world and universe we live in. I work on a variety of projects with many great people, which lets me learn about many different things all at once and I like to share that knowledge with others.
Work hard in school and learn as much as you can! Armed with knowledge and dedication, you will succeed and can make substantial contributions to the scientific community.


Dr. Jennifer Heldmann

Title Planetary Scientist
  • Human space flight
  • Researching the surface and interior or Mars
  • Spacecraft data analysis
  •  Theoretical computer modeling
EducationB.S. Astrogeophysics, Colgate University|
M.S. Space Studies, University of North Dakota
Ph.D. Planetary Science, University of Colorado