Meet Julie Claveau, a program scientist from the Canadian Space Agency. Read below to find out more about her career, her passion for space and her involvement in the James Webb Space Telescope mission.
1. How would you describe your current occupation? How did you end up in this role?
(J.C) I’m a government program scientist that helps university research scientists (my colleagues) get access to space astronomy data (and funding) to learn new things about our universe. I studied Physics and Astronomy at university. When I graduated, I joined the public service in an administrative role. After a few years I became mission planner for RADARSAT-2 (taking images of our planet to learn about climate change and help when there are natural disasters like floods and landslides), followed by a few years as a project manager for RADARSAT-1… to finally land where I am today as a program scientist in space astronomy for the Canadian Space Agency.
2. Who/what inspired you to go down this career path?
(J.C) When I was younger (and even now!) I just loved contemplating the night sky and imagining how far I was looking (infinity is far!). I also loved math, and trying to figure out why everything was the way it was. As a teenager, I used to watch a TV show called Stargate SG-1 and one of the main actors was a female theoretical astrophysicist. That’s when I learned [about] those kinds of scientists and decided that’s what I wanted to do.
3. What are you most excited about in terms of the telescope mission?
(J.C) Learning about how our universe started, how the very first stars were born and how the first galaxies came together. Oh— and also finding new habitable planets!
4. Any advice to give youth aspiring to join the space sector?
(J.C) Follow your heart. Never give up. Be grateful for the opportunity. Be authentically you.
5. Tell us a fun fact about the JWST!
(J.C) JWST is like a time machine! Light takes time to travel, for example, the light from our sun takes 8 minutes to get to us, so when its light reaches us, we are seeing the sun as it was 8 minutes ago. With Webb, we will be able to look 13 billion years back into the past at the very first stars and galaxies being born! So cool.
To learn more about the James Webb Space Telescope mission, click here.