SETI Institute astronomer, globally recognized, award winning scientist.
Jill Tarter holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research at the SETI Institute. She served as Project Scientist for NASA’s SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and has conducted research at radio observatories worldwide. Jill serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array, an innovative array of 42 (350 when fully realized) 6-m antennas at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, which surveys the radio universe for known and unexpected sources of astrophysical emissions. Jill’s work has brought her wide recognition in the scientific community, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace, two Public Service Medals from NASA, Chabot Observatory’s Person of the Year award, Women of Achievement Award in the Science and Technology category by the Women’s Fund and the San Jose Mercury, and the Tesla Award of Technology at the Telluride Tech Festival. She was elected an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2002 and a California Academy of Sciences Fellow in 2003. In 2004 Time Magazine named her one of the Time 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2005 Tarter was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization at Wonderfest, the biannual San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science. Many people are now familiar with her work as portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie Contact. She serves on the Board of Trustees at The SETI Institute and is deeply involved in the education of future citizens and scientists.