Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj is a glaciologist, geologist, astronomy enthusiast and visiting professor of environmental science at Colorado College in the United States.
Ulyana has always been drawn to adventure and science. Her PhD in geological sciences took her deep into the Nepali Himalaya, where she was the lead researcher for the Black Ice Project. She investigated contributions to ice mass loss on debris-covered glaciers, particularly in the Khumbu valley (Everest region). Ulyana went on to complete a post-doc at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, where she looked at how black carbon impacted snow and ice melt on Baffin Island in the Arctic.
Ulyana is especially passionate about science education and outreach. After completing her PhD, she launched an adventure and citizen science initiative called Science in the Wild, aimed at getting people outdoors, thinking like scientists and helping to collect scientific data while on expedition with her in the field. She has also worked with Girls on Ice, a program that takes teenage girls into the wilderness to do small scientific projects. Many of the participants have never set foot on a mountain. Ulyana is also a member of a citizen science program called Project PoSSUM (polar suborbital science in the upper mesosphere), aimed at educating the public about the upper atmosphere, at the edge of space.
In 2016, Ulyana was chosen as mission commander for an on-the-ground deep space mission with NASA, and was chosen as one of 120 semifinalists (from a pool of 18,354 applicants) for NASA’s 2017 astronaut class.
Ulyana is a keen mountaineer and has climbed Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mont Blanc in the French Alps, Aconcagua (Argentina), Ojos del Salado (Chile), Lobuche East (Nepal) and peaks around Colorado. She also has experience working on an icebreaker in Antarctica and ice caving and climbing in Svalbard. Ulyana is excited to join the team and share the beauty of the geological and glacial landscapes we travel to!