CU Boulder Professor Jack Burns has been appointed to the NASA transition team by the incoming Trump administration.
Burns, a professor in the Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences, has longstanding ties with NASA. He served on the NASA Advisory Council from 2008-10, including a stint as chair of the council’s Science Committee in 2009 and 2010.
Transition, or landing teams, typically are named for each federal department or agency by incoming presidential administrations. Such teams review the activities and portfolios of specific departments or agencies to identify major issues.
Burns also directed the Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR), a consortium of top research institutions funded by a $6.5 million NASA grant to conduct astrophysics from the moon, including the use of radio telescopes. He also is a fellow at CU Boulder’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy.
Burns currently is the principal investigator of a $250 million NASA Explorer Mission concept proposal called the “Dark Ages Radio Explorer” (DARE). DARE is designed to orbit the moon and look back in time by making observations of the early universe from above the moon’s far side, when it is shielded from Earth and the sun.
Burns, who currently serves as senior vice president of the American Astronomical Society, was vice president for Academic Affairs and Research for the CU system from 2001-05. He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Physical Society. In 2010 he received NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal.