Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrobiology, University of Washington, 2014
M.F.A. in Acting, UCLA, 2001
Sc.B. in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, MIT, 1997
Aomawa Shields focuses on exploring the possible climates and potential habitability of extrasolar planets, particularly those orbiting low-mass stars. Her research uses many different types of computer models, including climate models traditionally used to predict climate and weather patterns on the Earth. She also uses actual data for recently-discovered planetary systems acquired by ground- and space-based missions. This combined approach helps her group determine the surface, atmospheric, and orbital conditions necessary for surface liquid water to exist on the most promising candidates for habitable planets in these systems.