Sandra Faber and Kathryn Sullivan to discuss their trailblazing careers in fireside chat

Sandra Faber
Kathryn Sullivan

Two of UC Santa Cruz’s most prominent trailblazers in science, astronomer Sandra Faber and alumna and former astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, will discuss their careers in a virtual “fireside chat” on Monday, March 8, at 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan, who earned her bachelor’s degree in Earth sciences at UCSC in 1973 and went on to become the first American woman to walk in space, is an accomplished oceanographer and served as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under President Obama. As a NASA astronaut, she helped deploy the Hubble Space Telescope and ensure its remarkable longevity and success as an instrument crucial to the research of astronomers such as Faber.

A professor emerita of astronomy and astrophysics at UCSC, Faber is known for her pioneering research on the formation, structure, and evolution of galaxies, and for her contributions to the optical design of the Keck Telescopes and other astronomical instruments. She co-led the largest project in the history of the Hubble Space Telescope, a deep imaging survey of distant galaxies.

Both Faber and Sullivan have made wide-ranging contributions to science and received numerous awards and honors in recognition of their accomplishments. And both had formative experiences at UC Santa Cruz, where Sullivan discovered her interest in science as an undergraduate and Faber launched her career as a young faculty member in 1972.

In recognition of their achievements, and with the generous support of a donor, UCSC is naming two floors of the newly renovated Science & Engineering Library in their honor: the Sandra M. Faber Floor (third floor) and the Kathryn D. Sullivan Floor (first floor). Two separate celebrations of these honors will be held in person after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Their conversation on March 8 will be moderated by another groundbreaking UC Santa Cruz scientist, Beth Shapiro, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Registration and information about this event is available online. For questions, please contact the University Events Office at