This week, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) welcomed University of Colorado (CU) President Todd Saliman, members of the president’s executive team, and CU Boulder campus leadership. Their visit highlighted LASP’s expertise in space science research and the institute’s crucial role in educating the next generation of space science professionals.
“We were honored to showcase our unique facilities and introduce President Saliman to some of our 700 employees, all of whom are working to transform human understanding of the cosmos,” said LASP Director Daniel Baker.
The group toured LASP’s facilities as part of the president’s annual visit to the CU Boulder campus. Saliman’s visits are designed to inform his meetings with legislators, community members and donors in his role as the CU president.
This year’s visit came at a fortuitous time, as LASP is preparing to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding in April 1948. “LASP is the original nucleus of the Front Range aerospace ecosystem,” said Baker. “For this reason, we take our responsibility to educate the next generation of aerospace professionals quite seriously.”
About 25 percent of LASP’s employees are undergraduate and graduate students, who are employed in every area of the lab, including science, engineering, administration, mission operations and data systems.
LASP is the oldest and highest-budget research institute at CU Boulder. In Fiscal Year 2022, the institute was awarded more than $150 million for 315 contracts and grants, including from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
In addition to President Saliman, the visiting group included CU Senior Vice President of External Relations and Strategy Danielle Radovich Piper, CU Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Angelique Foster, CU Vice President for Communications Jeff Howard, CU Boulder Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Russ Moore, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation Karen Regan, and CU Boulder Office of the Chancellor Chief of Staff Catherine Shea.
Meeting with President Saliman’s group from LASP were Director Daniel Baker; Director of Engineering Tom Sparn; Associate Director for Science Frank Eparvier; Deputy Director of Finance and Operations Stephen Ettinger; Business Development and New Technology Lead Carl Gelderloos; Mechanical Engineer Chip Bollendonk; Engineer and Head of SmallSat Development Amal Chandran; Research Scientist Katie Greer; Senior Flight Director and Program Manager in Mission Operations and Data Systems Darren Osborne; and Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) Flight Director Stephanie Ruswick.
To commemorate his visit, LASP Director Daniel Baker presented President Saliman with a plaque specially made by the LASP Engineering/Production Services team.
Founded a decade before NASA, the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder is on a mission to transform human understanding of the cosmos by pioneering new technologies and approaches to space science. LASP is the only academic research institute in the world to have sent instruments to every planet in our solar system. LASP will be celebrating its 75th anniversary beginning in April 2023.