Meet Kathy Sullivan, hybrid astronaut and oceanographer

Live episode with Open Dialogue & Sciographies

- October 14, 2020

Katherine Sullivan. (Provided photo)
Katherine Sullivan. (Provided photo)

For its latest episode, Sciographies teamed up with Dalhousie’s Open Dialogue Live to bring viewers a special alumni edition of the podcast featuring the inspiring story of former NASA astronaut, Kathryn Sullivan (PhD’78, Earth Sciences), the first American woman to walk in space and the first woman to travel to the deepest part of the ocean.

In this episode, Sciographies host and Oceanography assistant professor Dr. David Barclay interviews Dr. Sullivan and explores her early years living in Southern California during the 1960s and what motivated her to become one of the most accomplished explorers of our time.

Among many fascinating stories and experiences, Dr. Sullivan provides insight into her three space missions, holding senior positions at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), working with former U.S. President Barack Obama and the thrill of descending nearly 36,000 feet to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. She also touched on the importance of strong leadership and how she’s dealt with being a woman in STEM.

Watch the conversation as it happened live:

Sciographies is a podcast and radio show produced by Dalhousie's Faculty of Science in partnership with CKDU 881.FM in Halifax. All episodes are available at or Open Dialogue Live was created as a complement to the Open Dialogue program and launched in spring 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic through virtual events. It brings people together for thoughtful conversations led by Dalhousians.


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