Astronaut, oceanographer, and alumna Kathryn Sullivan to speak at Rio Theater

Former NOAA administrator and the first American woman to walk in space, Sullivan will give a talk titled "From the Sea to the Stars"

Kathryn Sullivan
Kathryn Sullivan

UC Santa Cruz alumna Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to walk in space and the former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will give a talk at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz on October 11—the 33rd anniversary of her historic spacewalk—as a benefit for the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

An accomplished oceanographer, Sullivan graduated from UCSC in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in Earth sciences and earned a Ph.D. in geology at Dalhousie University in Canada. She served as a member of three NASA space shuttle missions and travelled to the East Pacific Rise in the deep-sea submersible Alvin.

Sullivan served as NOAA administrator from March 2014 to January 2017. She had previously served as NOAA's chief scientist, overseeing a research and technology portfolio that included fisheries biology, climate change, satellite instrumentation, and marine biodiversity; as president and CEO of the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio, one of the nation's leading science museums; and as the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Mathematics and Science Education Policy at Ohio State University. She has also served on the National Science Board and as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Sullivan's talk, “From the Sea to the Stars,” will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, at the Rio Theatre (1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz). Tickets, which go on sale September 12, are $18 for general admission; $12 for museum members; $40 for gold circle seating. The event is part of the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History’s Rio Theater Speaker Series.