Zena Cardman


Zena Cardman
Zena Cardman official portrait.jpg
Zena Maria Cardman

(1987-10-26) October 26, 1987 (age 34)
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (BS, MS)
Space career
NASA Astronaut
Current occupation
SelectionNASA Group 22

Zena Maria Cardman (born October 26, 1987) is an American geobiologist and NASA astronaut.

Early life and education

Cardman was born on October 26, 1987, in Urbana, Illinois to Helen and Larry Cardman. Her family moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where she attended Bruton High School. Cardman attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in biology, with minors in chemistry and marine sciences, and wrote her thesis in poetry. She later earned a Master of Science in marine sciences, in the research group of Andreas Teske.[1] While at the University of North Carolina, Cardman studied microbial systems in hydrocarbon seeps, hydrothermal vents, and the Arctic. During that time, she also worked with the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research Network[2] in Antarctica, analyzing ecosystem changes as part of a multi-decadal study. Cardman has additional experience with NASA-supported research in British Columbia, the Canadian high Arctic, Idaho, and Hawaii, and has sailed with the Sea Education Association as Assistant Engineer. At the time of her selection in June 2017, Cardman was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Pennsylvania State University, investigating microbial metabolism and biogeochemical cycling in cave systems.[3][4][5]

NASA career

Prior to her astronaut candidacy, Cardman worked in science and operations for the NASA Pavilion Lake Research Project (2008–2015) and BASALT (2016–2017), with Darlene Lim. In June 2017, she was selected as a member of NASA Astronaut Group 22, and began her two-year training at Johnson Space Center in Houston.[3][6]

Personal life

Her hobbies include rock climbing, caving, poetry, and power lifting.[3]

Awards and honors

Cardman has received numerous academic awards, including a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Royster Society Distinguished Graduate Fellowship, Chancellor's Award (UNC Chapel Hill), and Space Grant Consortium Fellowships.[3]


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document: Heather Tonnessen. "Astronaut Candidate Zena Cardman". Retrieved June 2, 2020. (Official NASA biography)

  1. ^ "Tar Heel selected for NASA's new astronaut class - The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill". The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (in American English). Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  2. ^ "Welcome to Palmer LTER | Palmer LTER". pal.lternet.edu. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  3. ^ a b c d Tonnessen, Heather (February 7, 2018). "Astronaut Candidate Zena Cardman". NASA. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  4. ^ Carrol, Matt (June 7, 2017). "Penn State graduate student selected for NASA astronaut program". Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Zena Maria Cardman". Biographies of U.S. Astronauts. Spacefacts. April 18, 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  6. ^ Harwood, William (June 7, 2017). "NASA introduces 12 new astronauts". CBS News. CBS Broadcasting. Retrieved 8 June 2017.

External links

  • Zena Cardman's website