Spotlight: Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton

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12:45 pm - 1:15 pm EST



Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton is a Canadian astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the first Indigenous woman in Canada to obtain a PhD in astrophysics!

As a child, Laurie was always fascinated with the night sky! She spent her youth looking at the stars with her family in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec and today she discovers stars through a giant telescope situated at the summit of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. Laurie is also leading an international project called SIGNALS which is aimed at observing thousands of newly born stars in galaxies close to the Milky Way.

Laurie masterfully describes the stars through the lens of a scientist but also shares her favourite story that pertains to the sky, stars, and constellations through the eyes of an Indigenous Innu woman. It is the story of Ochek, the Fisher cat, and Kuekuatsheu, the Wolverine, describing how our seasons came to be. Laurie’s storytelling poignantly reminds us that for thousands of years across many cultures around the world, people have looked to the skies and shared similar stories to understand our place in the universe.

Join us for a stellar conversation including a dialogue on Indigenizing STEM in classrooms, encouraging girls to pursue STEM, and creating a space in science that is open and inclusive of different perspectives and voices.

Laurie reminds us that we can all look up at the sky and reach for the stars. It’s a conversation you don’t want to miss!

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