The People of

Heather Graham



Dr. Heather Graham is a postdoctoral researcher and organic geochemist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. She currently works with the Mars Curiosity Rover science team, and uses the SAM instrument to study deuterium on Mars, when she’s not crying or falling in love with her male colleagues that is…

But in a prior life she studied the evolution of land plants and their adaptations to light. Her favorite organism is lichen and her favorite science topic is terrestrialization – how those first pioneers left the relative coziness of the ocean to occupy the Earth’s surface.

Heather thinks of science as a cultural product – a reflection of our collective values and dreams – and likes to write about the conversations between science, society, and art. Recently she premiered “Determination of Azimuth,” a math-space-rock opera about the life of mathematician Katherine Johnson, the first woman and African-American in NASA’s Flight Mechanics and Spacecraft Controls Branch, and her work on the Apollo Program.