The Maryland Academy of Sciences and the Maryland Science Center will present the 2013 Annual Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) award to Dr. Jason S. Kalirai on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.
Kalirai is the James Webb Space Telescope Project Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute and an associate researcher at the Center for Astrophysical Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. He will share this year's award with Dr. Claire E. Cramer of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The OYS award program was established in 1959 and recognizes Maryland residents who have distinguished themselves early in their careers for accomplishments in science. Award recipients are chosen by members of the Maryland Academy of Sciences' Scientific Advisory Council, which provides expertise and content review to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, Md.
Dr. Kalirai's research in the study of stellar populations has yielded important insights into the ages of stars in the Milky Way. These efforts increase students' scientific interest and keep the public aware of the scientific advances achieved through the funding of academic research.
Kalirai received a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of British Columbia in 2004 and was then selected as a Hubble Fellow postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Planned for a 2018 launch, the Webb telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope and is one of the biggest scientific projects happening in the world. It will travel 1 million miles from Earth, past the Moon, to reveal our clearest and deepest images of the universe to date. About once every month, Kalirai visits communities across the country, including many schools, and engages students on the promising future of space astronomy.
Kalirai lives in Ellicott City, Md., with his wife and twin daughters.
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.