President Barack Obama has nominated UCSC alumna Kathryn Sullivan for the post of assistant secretary of commerce.
Sullivan graduated from UCSC in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in earth sciences; as a member of the NASA astronaut corps, she became the first U.S. woman to walk in space in 1984.
Six years later, Sullivan joined fellow UCSC grad Steven Hawley (Ph.D., astronomy and astrophysics, '77) on the shuttle mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.
The commerce post, subject to Senate confirmation, oversees the National Weather Service and provides policy oversight for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration activities related to observing and predicting ocean, atmospheric and climate dynamics.
Earlier this year, the Seymour Center at UCSC's Long Marine Laboratory honored Sullivan for her later work as an oceanographer and educator by presenting her with the Global Oceans Award.