Suggested Searches

Jessie Dotson

Jessie Dotson

K2 Project Scientist


Phone: (650)604-2041

Professional Biography

Jessie Dotson is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Ames Research Center and the project scientist for NASA’s K2 Mission. She earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. Dotson’s areas of specialization were infrared instrumentation, polarization measurements and the role of magnetic fields in giant molecular clouds. She has worked on the development of infrared and sub-millimeter polarimeters, spectrometers and cameras for ground-based, airborne and space-based observatories. Dotson has served as the SOFIA Instrument Scientist, established the Kepler Guest Observer Office and served as the Deputy Science Office Director for Kepler. She served six years as the Branch Chief for Astrophysics at NASA Ames Research Center. The Astrophysics branch consists of approximately 60 researchers working on a variety of topics including asteroids, exoplanets, external galaxies, and astrochemistry. In 2014, Dotson helped formulate Ames’ Asteroid Threat Assessment Project (ATAP), which is an effort to apply NASA expertise from a variety of disciplines in order to quantify the risk to Earth of an asteroid impact. She currently leads the ATAP asteroid characterization team. In 2011, Dotson was awarded a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for leadership in coordinating the effective distribution of Kepler data to the user community. In 2016, she was awarded a NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal for her work as branch chief.