Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alaska Anchorage
Dr. Rector is an astrophysicist at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In recent years his focus has been on advocating for solutions to climate change. Living in Alaska, he has witnessed dramatic changes in his home state. He is currently serving as the chair of a task force for the American Astronomical Society, whose goal is to identify ways astronomy as a profession can reduce its carbon footprint on a scale commensurate with the terms of the Paris Agreement. Air travel for in-person meetings has been identified as a major source of emissions. Fortunately virtual conferences and other on-line tools for collaboration hold great promise for our profession. Dr. Rector is focused on determining how these tools can address climate change as well as improve participation, equity, and scientific productivity.