Profiles of Women Working In STEM

Amy Winebarger

Solar Astrophysicist and Rocket Scientist

Dr. Amy Winebarger is a solar astrophysicist and rocket scientist who works from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. NASA launches sub-orbital rockets to allow scientists to observe the sun and stars in x-ray and extreme ultraviolet wavelengths of light (this light is normally absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere), and also for scientists to study the earth’s atmosphere, magnetic field, and aurora. Dr. Winebarger started participating in rocket launches shortly after joining NASA in 2010 and now she leads the team that builds instruments for these flights. They are currently working on six different instruments that observe the sun in a variety of wavelengths. When not building or launching the rocket-borne instruments, she is analyzing the data, working with students and postdocs, writing papers, and giving scientific presentations. Dr. Winebarger is passionate about education, public outreach, and increasing diversity in STEM fields. She routinely presents lectures at K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities, and participates in public outreach events. She is the co-director of an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) program that works to increase diversity in STEM by recruiting and accepting students who may struggle to find research positions in other programs.

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