Michelle Larson has been appointed president of the Adler Planetarium. She will oversee a 21st century space science center that includes the institution's landmark museum complex, exhibition galleries and three theaters; a robust research enterprise; one of the world's leading collections documenting the history of science; and an award-winning education and outreach program. Larson currently serves as vice provost and professor of physics at Utah State University. She is engaged in activities that strengthen the interaction between the university and the public, such as the creation of a Science, Technology, Engineering, Education, and Math (STE2M) Center, and a popular science outreach program, Science Unwrapped that explains the day-to-day, inner workings of modern research and engages the public in meaningful, hands-on activities. Prior to joining Utah State University in 2006, Larson was the deputy director of the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Pennsylvania State University. She also served as the deputy director of NASA's Montana Space Grant Consortium where she coordinated research and education activities with the faculty and students at 24 affiliate campuses and partners. Larson received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics from Montana State University. Her postdoctoral work in high-energy astrophysics was completed at the California Institute of Technology. Larson succeeds Paul H. Knappenberger, Jr., who will retire on December 31 after 21 years of service.
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