Kathryn Clark

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Dr. Kathryn Clark met astronaut John Glenn when she was a child, setting her on a course that culminated in her job as NASA’s Chief Scientist for Human Space Flight. Using the experiences and adversity from her 4 years at NASA Headquarters and dealing with the international community, Dr. Clark’s talks focus on the teamwork, leadership, and humor necessary in the successful launching of the International Space Station and planning missions to Mars and beyond.

Is your group working on a large team project? With tales of international collaboration in “Building the International Space Station – Teamwork in 12 Languages”, Dr. Clark motivates and engages teams to work toward accomplishing a common goal that bears out success.

Trying to succeed against all odds? Learn about the “55 Reasons We Can’t Go” as Dr. Clark explores the obstacles to sending humans to Mars or about the nearly insurmountable difficulties in “International Space Station – Some Assembly Required”. The primary difficulty in sending humans to Mars is getting them there, and back, in safety. Listen to the challenges and creative solutions in “How do you Lift Weights in Space?

Your profession requires people to take risks. Hear about the daily pressures of the NASA workforce in “A Ship is only Safe in the Harbor”.

Are you trying to inspire women in your company? Dr. Clark, a pilot herself and a member of the 99’s, the International Society of Women Pilots, brings to life the early women pioneers of flight in “Dreaming the Future: The History of Women in Flight”. Dr. Clark shares her personal challenges and describes how being a successful woman can be particularly difficult in a field dominated by men, in her talk “Imposter Syndrome: Confessions of  a Rocket Scientist”.

On the lighter side, Dr. Clark entertains groups with talks about life in government. From running barefoot through the snow to catch a plane to trying to untangle the cord on the coffee maker in a dark hotel room, her “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: Vignettes from a World Traveler” brings to light “the romance” of travel.

While most people assume that working at NASA is incredibly exciting, it is still a government agency. It has all the foibles that come standard in government work. From telephone class to rental car battles, the ridiculous logic of the government could lead to hostilities, unless you have a sense of humor. Hear about it in “ISS: Some Assembly Required – Life inside a Government Agency”.


55 Reasons We Can’t Go – What are the chances a particular bad thing, like osteoporosis, might happen? How bad would it be if it did? From the intersection of these two questions come 55 reasons we can’t go to Mars. Our job? Solve them…

International Space Station: Some Assembly Required – it’s like building the furnace room of a house, moving the family of four into that furnace room and asking them to finish building the house around them while continuing to pursue productive lives. By the way, the house is in Antarctica and the dog sled only shows up once every 4 months…

A Ship is only Safe in the Harbor – but the ship loses its purpose if it remains in the harbor. All, who explore, put themselves at risk; it is the nature of the quest…but, imagine where we would be if no one through history had been willing to take the risk…

History of Women in Flight –Women have been flying almost since there were airplanes. We have served as pilots in war and in peace and some have died pursuing the exploration of space. Often needing to fight their way on to the team, women have played a major role in the history of flight…

Imposter Syndrome: Confessions of a Rocket Scientist – Looking back on her own experiences, Dr. Clark probes the successes of women in typical men’s fields and discusses our discomfort with our own success…

Are We Unique? A New Perspective of Our Place in the Universe – As both a Christian and a scientist, Dr. Clark explores the apparent disagreement between science and religion. She presents the factors necessary for the development of complex life and looks at the odds that these fell together by chance.

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