Edna DeVore

December 18, 2006

Deputy Chief Executive Officer
Director of Education and Public Outreach

Edna is most interested in the question, "Are we alone in the universe?" She has been a researcher, planetarium director, teacher, curriculum writer and administrator. Currently, she is the Director of Education and Outreach as well as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA. In addition to management responsibilities, she works on projects related to education and outreach. They include the "Life in the Universe" curriculum from students in grades 3-9 and an integrated high school course, "Voyages Through Time." Both are funded by NASA, NASA's Astrobiology Institute, the NSF and other private corporations and foundations.

She co-directs the education and public outreach (E/PO) programs for two major NASA research missions: NASA's SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) airborne observatory, and Kepler, a Discovery Mission that seeks Earth-sized planets around other stars. The NASA E/PO programs are conducted in partnership with other science education organizations.

Edna has presented more than 200 invited talks and teacher workshops across the nation. Most recently, she was the US co-chair for the Fulbright Symposium 2002: Science Education in Partnership at Hamilton Island, Austalia.

Edna earned her BA in Liberal Arts from Raymond College, University of the Pacific, in 1967, her MA in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University in 1988, and her MS in Astronomy from University of Arizona in 1992.

She has received numerous honors for her work including a Professional Award for Outstanding Contributions to Amateur Astronomy, NASA Ames Research Center Employee Award, the US Department of Education Christa McAuliffe Teaching Fellow Award, and an NSF Fellowship for her MS in Astronomy.  She received the Women in Aerospace (WIA) Aerospace Awareness Award for 2005.

"When I reflect upon my pathway to today," says Edna DeVore, Director of Education and Public Outreach and Deputy CEO at the SETI Institute, "I am surprised that a little girl from a town of about 60 people in rural California is now involved in such cutting edge science projects." As a child, she grew up on a cattle ranch in Sierra County. "Why am I interested in science?  As a girl," DeVore recounts, "I was interested in how things worked. As we bred cattle, selecting those with characteristics that were desirable to improve the herd, and selling the others, I learned my first 'science' lessons genetics in action." As a child, she also had interests consistent with her career as a planetarium director, her occupation before joining the SETI Institute. "I was always fascinated by the sky in the Sierra summers.  Brilliant stars and the glittering Milky Way shimmered overhead from our front yard," she recalls, "The stars were simply beautiful." As she coordinates all aspects of the SETI Institute's Education and Public Outreach activities today, she has ample opportunities to share her interests and insights with children and adults alike.

- SETI Institute Explorer, Special Edition 2005