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Sian Proctor      

Astronaut, Afrofuturism Artist & Geoscience Professor at the Maricopa Community Colleges

Dr. Sian Proctor is a Geoscience Professor at the Maricopa Community Colleges, an Afrofuturism Artist, and an Astronaut. She is the Chief Inspiration Astronaut of Space2inspire and founder of The Proctor Foundation for Art and Science. She was the mission pilot for SpaceX Inspiration4, the first all-civilian orbital mission. She is the first female commercial astronaut spaceship pilot and the only African American woman to ever be a mission pilot. She is also the first African-American commercial astronaut, and the first African-American to paint in space. She is currently serving as a member of the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group. She is also one of The Explorer’s Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World the world should know about. Her motto is Space2inspire where she encourages people to use their unique strengths and passion to inspire themselves and those within their reach. She believes that we need to actively strive for a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive (J.E.D.I.) space both on Earth and beyond.

Dr. Sian Proctor is an Afrofuturism artist. She uses a collage art style to combine real-world concepts with future-driven themes and technology. She is the artist and explorer in residence at Arizona State University (ASU) and an XRts Fellow at the ASU Mix Center. She uses her Afrofuturism space art to encourage conversations about women of color in the space industry. She’s also an analog astronaut and has completed four analog missions including the all-female SENSORIA Mars 2020 mission at the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) Habitat, the NASA-funded 4-months Mars mission at HI-SEAS, a 2-weeks Mars mission at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS), and a 2-weeks Moon mission in the LunAres Habitat. She believes that when we solve for space, we also solve issues on Earth. She promotes sustainable food practices used in space exploration as a way to reduce food waste on Earth. She has a TEDx talk called Eat Like a Martian and published the Meals for Mars Cookbook. Dr. Proctor was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program and got down to the Yes/No phone call came from Astronaut Sunita Williams. She is an international speaker who enjoys engaging in educational outreach. She is a continuing NASA Solar System Ambassador and has served on the Explore Mars Board of Directors, JustSpace Alliance Advisory Board, SEDS USA Advisory Board, and the National Science Teaching Association’s Aerospace Advisory Board. In 2019, she was the science communication outreach officer on the JOIDES Resolution Expedition 383 and spent 2-months at sea with researchers investigating the Dynamics of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. She also participated in the 2-week faculty development seminar Exploring Urban Sustainability in India. She was a 2017 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Teacher at Sea, a 2016 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador (ACEAP), and a 2014 PolarTREC Teacher investigating climate change in Barrow, Alaska. She is a Major in the Civil Air Patrol and serves as a member of the Arizona Wing Aerospace Education Officer.

Dr. Proctor spent 22 years as a professor teaching geology, sustainability, and planetary science at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona. She is currently the Open Educations Resource Coordinator for the Maricopa Community College District. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science, an M.S. in Geology, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Science Education. She recently finished a sabbatical at Arizona State University’s Center for Education Through Exploration creating virtual field trips. She did her 2012-13 sabbatical at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute developing their science of disasters curriculum. She has appeared in multiple international science shows including the Netflix DocuSeries titled Countdown: Inspiration4.

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