Britney Schmidt is an inspiring scientist and educator who was recently named one of Time’s 100 most influential people. She is a planetary scientist and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Earth and atmospheric sciences in Cornell Engineering, where she focuses on studying icy moons and the ocean worlds of our solar system.
Noël Heaney/Cornell University
Britney Schmidt, associate professor of astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Earth and atmospheric sciences in Cornell Engineering.
Schmidt’s work has been groundbreaking in understanding the complex processes that occur on these icy worlds. She has led numerous expeditions to remote locations such as Antarctica, Greenland, and the Arctic, where she studies how ice interacts with water and how these processes shape the surface of planets and moons. Her work has been crucial in advancing our understanding of astrobiology, which seeks to understand the origins of life and the conditions necessary for it to exist.
One of the reasons Schmidt has been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people is her dedication to inspiring future generations of scientists. She is a mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students, encouraging them to pursue their passions and supporting them as they work to achieve their goals. She is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the sciences, working to create a welcoming and supportive environment for people from all backgrounds.
Schmidt’s influence extends beyond her research and teaching. She is also an advocate for science education and outreach, working to engage the public in the excitement of scientific discovery. She has given talks at schools and community events, sharing her passion for science and inspiring others to pursue their own curiosity.
In addition to her scientific achievements and dedication to education and outreach, Schmidt is also an inspiration for women in science. As a woman in a male-dominated field, she has faced many challenges and has worked tirelessly to overcome them. Her success serves as a reminder that women have an important role to play in science and that their contributions are invaluable.
Overall, Britney Schmidt’s inclusion in Time’s 100 most influential people is well-deserved. Her work has been groundbreaking in the field of planetary science, and her dedication to education and outreach is an inspiration to us all. As we look to the future, it is scientists like Schmidt who will lead the way in understanding the mysteries of the universe and inspiring the next generation of scientists to continue this important work.