Montana State University

MSU doctoral student named NASA student ambassador

January 22, 2009

Joey Key. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
A Montana State University graduate student in physics has been named a NASA Student Ambassador during the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. As an ambassador, she will give presentations around Montana on NASA programs.

Joey Key said she is available to give presentations to elementary and secondary schools on Indian reservations and other communities. Her presentations are intended to get youth excited about science, and particularly about NASA discoveries in astrophysics, planetary science and solar physics. Key is one of 46 undergraduate and graduate students selected for the program.

"I hope to visit the tribal colleges on all of the Montana Indian Reservations," Key said.

Key has given similar presentations as part of the Space Public Outreach Team or SPOT in Montana. She has five presentations: "Listening to the Universe," which is about gravitational wave astronomy;" Astronauts and Aliens," which is about the search for life in the solar system; "The Sun-Earth Connection," which is about space weather; "Mars 3D!" about the Mars Exploration Rovers; and "The Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan."

Key said she expects to complete her doctoral work at MSU in May 2010. Her thesis, "Early Universe Cosmology," focuses on gravitational wave astronomy.

The National Space Grant Foundation manages the International Year of Astronomy Student Ambassadors Program through a grant from NASA. For information from the Montana Space Grant Consortium office at MSU, contact Angela Des Jardins via e-mail at

For more information about NASA's involvement and a full list of student ambassadors, visit:, or for more information about NASA and its programs, visit: The Southwest Montana Astronomical Society also has plans for IYA events during 2009, including public star parties and lectures. For more information, visit its Web at

Contact: Joey Key (406) 994-6718 or; Jody Sanford, (406) 994-7791 or; J.D. Harrington, NASA (202) 358-5241 or