Angela Des Jardins grew up in Bozeman and graduated from Montana State University with a solar physics doctorate degree and began putting her training to use in a very short time. This is the story of a local kid working hard from the beginning, having a passion for NASA programs, achieving her personal goals and then giving back to Bozeman, Gallatin County and Montana. She is now impacting the space grant program at the national level. She received the National Space Grant’s Special Service Award in 2017 for her leadership on the Eclipse Ballooning Project. Fifty-five teams across the country launched balloons equipped with an MSU-designed system for livestreaming aerial video of the eclipse, which had never been done before. Des Jardins is currently the chair of the Council of Space Grant Directors. She is respected by her peers and brings a passion to NASA STEM outreach that is contagious. Des Jardins has had an impact on thousands of students studying STEM fields across Montana and the nation. Because of her programs and projects, many students have changed career paths.

Angela Des Jardins … is the one who brought a vision for this national effort.” (Stephen Ruffin, the director of Georgia Space Grant Consortium in an interview1)

  1. Swearingen, Marshall. October 2, 2017. MSU researcher wins national award for eclipse project. Retrieved on July 30, 2018 from

Angela Des Jardins

Photo: MSU Communications