Special Guest Speaker

Tara Sweeney

Tara Sweeney is a field geologist and planetary scientist. She has led and supported operations and research in remote and austere locations around the globe. Tara recently served as an Antarctic Field Scientist for the United States National Science Foundation and the United Kingdom Natural Environment Research Council partnership in the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration (ITGC). As a member of the ITGC’s 2022-2023 TIME Team, she embarked on a 102-day expedition to McMurdo Station, the Ross Ice Shelf, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and Thwaites Glacier, for which she received the Antarctica Service Medal. Near the end of the expedition, Tara had the unique opportunity to also visit Garwood Valley to learn how biologists and ecologists conduct science for the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research program. She is actively engaged with the effort to put humans back on the Moon as a research assistant on the NASA Artemis III Geology Team and the NASA SSERVI RISE2 Team. She is a former parabolic flight crew member and research team member with approximately 5 hours in microgravity via 37 flights and 712 parabolas. Tara is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, a retired United States Air Force Special Operations Command officer, a private pilot, an artist, and an open water SCUBA diver. She is a motivational speaker who is passionate about sharing the wonder of exploration, scientific research, and human spaceflight, and highlighting the diverse fields that make those achievements possible. She was born in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland; raised in Fitchburg, Massachusetts; and presently lives with her wife, Dr. Jennifer Bishop, their cat, Bluey, and their dog, Rocky, near El Paso, Texas.

My Upcoming Expedition: Antartica Direct: Sail and Fly the Drake Passage-December 8, 2024