Janice Scheherazade Dunlap


Carnegie Science, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

I joined DTM in the mid 80s and have worked for 4 great DTM directors: George Wetherill, Sean Solomon, Lindy Elkins-Tanton, and currently Rick Carlson. To be honest, I started working at DTM in the dark ages, when the type-setting language TeX (created by Donald Knuth) was the only way to create desktop publishing and beautiful mathematical equations and tables. Fortunately, Windows and Microsoft Word followed, making life so much easier!
Support from an NSF grant, which was provided to staff scientist David James, PI of the "Phase Zero" proposal that launched the Portable Array Seismic Studies of the Continental Lithosphere (PASSCAL) program, brought me to DTM on a part-time basis. James became a leader in promoting the development of portable broadband array instrumentation, and my assistance also played a small part in the publication of his 1989 Encyclopedia of Solid Earth Geophysics, of which he was the editor.
When I began working for Sean Solomon, I assisted him on two long-term NASA proposals for which he was the PI. MESSENGER, the spacecraft whose mission was to orbit the planet Mercury in order to answer some key science questions, launched in 2004 and impacted Mercury in 2015 following its highly successful mission. I was thrilled to have been invited to witness the MESSENGER launch at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. Solomon also led the Carnegie team as PI and founding group member of NAI, the NASA Astrobiology Institute, with the proposal entitled "Hydrothermal Systems: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Evolution and Cosmic Environments," followed by Astrobiological Pathways: From the Interstellar Medium Through Planetary Systems, to the Emergence and Detection of Life."
Our postdocs have always held a special place in my heart. I began the first Postdoc blog for our postdoctoral fellows, which then morphed into a proper Postdoc Development program and web site, under the direction and guidance of former DTM director Lindy Elkins-Tanton. Current DTM director Rick Carlson has continued to strengthen and enrich the Postdoc Development program. Our postdocs are the pulse of our campus and the future of science.
I have a B.S. in Communication (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland, and am a recipient of Carnegie's 2015 Service to Science award, which was created to recognize outstanding and/or unique contributions to science by employees who work in administration, support, and technical positions at Carnegie.
I have always been very proud to work for such an outstanding group of people! Every single person at Carnegie contributes to the advancement of science. Together, we make the world a better place. We remain a beacon of light on top of a hill in northwest Washington DC.