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Tracy Ellen Caldwell Status: Active. Trained as: Astronaut. Profession: Mission Specialist. Sex: Female. Marital Status: Single. Birth Date: 14 August 1969. Birth City: Arcadia. Birth State: California. Birth Country: USA. Nationality: American. Group: 1998 NASA Group. Date Selected: 04 June 1998.

NASA Official Biography

NAME: Tracy E. Caldwell (Ph.D.)
NASA Astronaut Candidate (Mission Specialist)

Born August 14, 1969 in Arcadia, California. Recreational interests include running, weight training, hiking, softball, basketball, and auto repair/maintenance. She also enjoys spending time with family and her dog Alyx. As an undergraduate, she competed in intercollegiate athletics on CSUF's track team as both a sprinter and long jumper. Her parents, James H. and Mary Ellen Caldwell, reside in Cherry Valley, California. Her sister, Stacy H. Caldwell-Tockerman, and nephew, James F. Tockerman, reside in Beaumont, California.

Graduated from Beaumont High School, Beaumont, California in 1987; received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the California State University at Fullerton in 1993 and a doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of California at Davis in 1997.

Sigma Xi Research Society, American Chemical Society, American Vacuum Society, American Institute of Physics, American Association of University Women.

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Science (1997). National Research Council Associateship Award, NIST (1997, declined). Outstanding Doctoral Student Award in Chemistry from the University of California Davis (1997). American Vacuum Society - Nellie Yeoh Whetten Award (1996). American Vacuum Society Graduate Research Award (1996). Pro Femina Research Consortium Graduate Research Award (1996). Pro Femina Research Consortium Graduate Award for Scientific Travel (1996). University of California, Davis Graduate Research Award (1996). University of California, Davis Graduate Student Award for Scientific Travel (1994). Patricia Roberts Harris Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry (1993-1997). Lyle Wallace Award for Service to the Department of Chemistry, California State University Fullerton (1993). National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates Award, (1992). Council of Building & Construction Trades Scholarship (1991 and 1992). Parents' Association Scholarship (1990 and 1991). Big West Scholar Athlete (1989-1991).

As an undergraduate researcher at the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), Dr. Caldwell designed, constructed and implemented electronics and hardware associated with a laser-ionization, time-of-flight mass spectrometer for studying atmospherically-relevant gas-phase chemistry. Also at CSUF, she worked for the Research and Instructional Safety Office as a lab assistant performing environmental monitoring of laboratories using hazardous chemicals and radioactive materials, as well as calibrating survey instruments and helping to process chemical and radioactive waste. During that time (and for many years prior) she also worked as an electrician/inside wireman for her father's electrical contracting company doing commercial and light industrial type construction. At the University of California, Davis, Dr. Caldwell taught general chemistry laboratory and began her graduate research. Her dissertation work focused on investigating molecular-level surface reactivity and kinetics of metal surfaces using electron spectroscopy, laser desorption, and Fourier transform mass spectrometry techniques. She also designed and built peripheral components for a variable temperature, ultra-high vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy system. In 1997, Dr. Caldwell received the Camille and Henry Drefus Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Science to study atmospheric chemistry at the University of California, Irvine. There she investigated reactivity and kinetics of atmospherically relevant systems using atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry, Fourier transform infrared and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopies. In addition, she developed methods of chemical ionization for spectral interpretation of trace compounds. Dr. Caldwell has published and presented her work in numerous papers at technical conferences and in scientific journals.

Dr. Caldwell is a private pilot and also fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) as well as conversational in Russian and Spanish.

Selected by NASA in June 1998, she reported for training in August 1998. Astronaut Candidate Training includes orientation briefings and tours, numerous scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training and ground school to prepare for T-38 flight training, as well as learning water and wilderness survival techniques. Following a period of training and evaluation, she will receive technical assignments within the Astronaut Office before being assigned to a space flight.


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Last update 3 May 2001.
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