Another proud moment for Menands

  April 15, 2016

Barbara Cohen, daughter of Helen & Andy Cohen and sister of Matthew and Betsy, grew up in Menands and attended Menands School. Barbara was active in a number of activities while in Menands, including service programs at St. Joan of Arc Parish and the Odyssey of the Mind local and statewide competition.

Barbara graduated from Mercy High School in Albany where she was the Valedictorian of her class.  She was accepted to the first Honors Program at SUNY Stony Brook where she earned her BS in Geology. Barbara continued on to earn her PhD in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona. Dr. Barbara Cohen is now a planetary scientist, leading the planetary science group, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in geochronology and geochemistry of planetary samples from the Moon, Mars and asteroids.

Dr. Cohen serves within NASA representing science interests and capabilities within human spaceflight planning. She is a Principal Investigator (PI) on multiple NASA research projects, a member of the mission teams operating the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers on Mars, and the PI for Lunar Flashlight, a lunar cubesat mission that will be launched in 2018. She is the PI for the MSFC Noble Gas Research Laboratory (MNGRL) and is developing a flight version of her noble-gas geochronology technique, the Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment (KArLE), for use on future planetary landers and rovers. Dr. Cohen has participated in the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) over three seasons, where she helped recover more than a thousand pristine samples for the US collection. Asteroid 6186 Barb Cohen is named for her.

Congratulations to Dr. Barbara Cohen on her outstanding achievements.

Until next time,
Mayor Meg