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Dr. Grace Wolf-Chase

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Senior Scientist and Senior Education & Communication Specialist

Currently resides in IL
gwchase [at]
Areas of Expertise
Disciplines/Techniques: Education/Public Outreach (EPO), Spectroscopy
Missions: IRAS, Spitzer
Facilities: ALMA, Kitt Peak

Research Interests

Dr. Wolf-Chase's primary research interests are in the origins of stars and planets. She has decades of experience in the acquisition, reduction, and analysis of infrared, sub-millimeter, and millimeter-wave observations. Her current focus makes use of archived data to conduct large surveys assisted by the efforts of citizen scientists. She is co-leading an effort to provide introductory astronomy students with real research experiences based on data acquired on star-forming regions known as "yellowballs," which were discovered by volunteers working on the Milky Way Project, one of more than 200 research initiatives that have been launched on the Zooniverse platform.

Professional History

Grace Wolf-Chase holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Arizona, where she worked with Charlie Lada and Chris Walker on millimeter-wave observations of dense star-forming cores and molecular outflows from protostars. She was awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue star formation studies with Jacqueline Davidson at NASA Ames Research Center in 1994, and a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship to work with Mary Barsony at U.C. Riverside in 1996. From 1998 to 2020, Wolf-Chase was an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where her primary focus was integrating research with public education and outreach. 

Wolf-Chase has decades of experience in academic dialog between science and religion, and in communicating these efforts to public audiences. She is an Affiliated Member of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science (ZCRS); Vice President of the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS), an independent organization of scientists and theologians that supports the ZCRS and co-publishes Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science; science advisor for the Clergy Letter Project, an initiative to demonstrate clergy support for science and the compatibility of science and religion; a member of the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science (IRAS - not the Infrared Astronomical Satellite); and an advisor for the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Science for Seminaries program. She led and evaluated an effort to engage faith-based and interfaith communities in research experiences via citizen science.

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