Nicolas B. Cowan

Four Page CV (updated August 21, 2009)

Look me up on ADS

Contact
UW Dept of Astronomy
Box 351580
Seattle, WA 98195
USA
phone: 206-616-1505
fax: 206-685-0403
cowan@astro.washington.edu

Biographical
Born in Argentina; Canadian Citizen
Married; Father of Henri
Fluent in English and French

Education
PhD Astronomy, University of Washington, 2009: "Exo-Cartography: Time-Resolved Photometry of Exoplanets"
MSc Astronomy, University of Washington, 2006
BSc Physics w/First Class Honours, McGill University, 2004


Sometimes research makes me cry
Work Experience
Research Associate, University of Washington (2009-2010)
Research Assistant, UW (2005-2009)
Teaching Assistant, UW (2004-2005)
Researcher, TRIUMF, Vancouver, BC (2004)
Summer Research Intern, TRIUMF (2003)
Summer Research Intern, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC (2002)

Major Awards
NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship (2006-2009)
FQRNT Master's Scholarship (2004-2006)

Teaching, Mentoring & Service
Supervising undergraduate James Bushong in research (Summer 2006 - Winter 2009)
Session Moderator, 2009 UW Undergraduate Research Symposium
Organizing Committee, Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference 2009
"Weather Maps of Exoplanets", guest lecture for ASTR 497 (Autumn 2008)
"The Big Bang & the CMB", "Dark Energy & Inflation", guest lectures for ASTR 102 (Autumn 2008)
Guest Lecture at the Art Institute of Seattle (Summer 2008)
Instructor for ASTR 192: the Pre-Major in Astronomy Program (Autumn 2007)
Public Lecture for Tacoma Astronomical Society (Sept, 2007)
Public Lecture for Boeing Employees' Astronomical Society (April, 2007)
Supervised undergraduate Virginia Klemn in research (Winter - Spring 2006)
Teaching Assistant for ASTR 101 and ASTR 150 (Fall 2004 - Spring 2005)

Press
...for Alien Maps of an Ocean-Bearing World
La signature des océans sur les exoterres? Un camaïeu de bleus, Ciel & Espace (juillet 2009)
UW-led team's work means we may be able to find oceans on other planets, Seattle PI (June 9, 2009)
Learning how Earth looks to others, Philadelphia Inquirer (June 1, 2009)
The New Exoplanetology: "I Learned by Watching You, Earth", Wired (May 29, 2009)
Exoplanet Mapping Tested on Earth, Sky & Telescope (May 28, 2009)
How to spot oceans on alien worlds, Scientific American (May 28, 2009)
Boffins develop interstellar alien ocean-spotting tool, The Register (May 27, 2009)
New technique could find water on Earth-like planets orbiting distant suns, by Vince Stricherz (May 26, 2009)
EPOXI Team Develops New Method to Find Alien Oceans, by Bill Steigerwald (May 26, 2009)
How to Map an Exoplanet's Oceans, New Scientist (May 16, 2009)
...for Thermal Maps of Hot Jupiters
Mapping Uncharted Territories, SEED (December 2008)
UW astronomers create planet-mapping program UW Daily (May 31, 2007)
Astronomers create rough map of planet, UW Press Release (May 17, 2007)
...for Hot Nights on Extrasolar Planets
UW astronomers gain insight into "hot Jupiters" UW Daily (March 9, 2007)
Gassy Windbags, interview on Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio (Jan 13, 2007)
Earth's strongest winds wouldn't even be a breeze on these planets, UW Press Release (Jan 9, 2007)

Research Talks
Alien Maps of an Ocean-Bearing World, Towards Other Earths, Oct 22 2009 (Porto, PT)
Exo-Cartography, Exoplanet Seminar at GSFC, Sept 24 2009 (Greenbelt, MD)
Exo-Cartography, Star & Planet Formation Seminar at STScI, Sept 23 2009 (Baltimore, MD)
Mapping Exoplanets, Special Astrophysics Seminar at McGill University, 2008 (Montreal, QC)
Mapping Exoplanets, talk for Astrobiology Science Conference 2008 (Santa Clara, CA).
Pulse Shape Simulations for the TIGRESS Gamma-ray Detector, talk for Western Regional Nuclear and Particle Physics Conference, 2005 (Banff, AB).
Position-Sensitivity in the TIGRESS Gamma-ray Detector, Canadian Undergraduate Physics Conference, 2003 (Montreal, QC).

Refereed Publications
The 8 Micron Phase Variation of the Hot Saturn HD 149026b, H.A. Knutson, D. Charbonneau, N.B. Cowan, J.J. Fortney, A.P. Showman, E. Agol & G.W. Henry, ApJ accepted, 2009.
Alien Maps of an Ocean-Bearing World, N.B. Cowan, E. Agol, V.S. Meadows, T. Robinson, T.A. Livengood, D. Deming, C.M. Lisse, M.F. A'Hearn, D.D. Wellnitz, S. Seager & D. Charbonneau, ApJ, 700, 915, 2009.
The Mass-Metallicity Relation in Galaxy Clusters: the Relative Importance of Cluster Membership Versus Local Environment, S.L. Ellison, L. Simard, N.B. Cowan, I.K. Baldry & D.R. Patton, MNRAS, 396, 1257, 2009.
Multi-Wavelength Constraints on the Day-Night Circulation Patterns of HD 189733b, H.A. Knutson, D. Charbonneau, N.B. Cowan, E. Agol, A.P. Showman, J.J. Fortney, G.W. Henry, M.E. Everett & L.E. Allen, ApJ, 690, 822, 2009.
Inverting Phase Functions to Map Exoplanets, N.B. Cowan & E. Agol, ApJ, 678, L129, 2008.
The Environment of Galaxies at Low Redshift, N.B. Cowan & Z. Ivezić, ApJ, 674, L13, 2008.
Hot Nights on Extrasolar Planets: Mid-IR Phase Functions of Hot Jupiters, N.B. Cowan, E. Agol & D. Charbonneau, MNRAS, 379, 641, 2007.
A Map of the Day-Night Contrast of the Extrasolar Planet HD 189733b, H.A. Knutson, D. Charbonneau, L.E. Allen, J.J. Fortney, E. Agol, N.B. Cowan, A.P. Showman, C.S. Cooper & S.T. Megeath, Nature, 447, 7141, 2007.
TIGRESS Highly-Segmented High-Purity Germanium Clover Detector, H.C. Scraggs, C.J. Pearson, G. Hackman, M.B. Smith, R.A.E. Austin, G.C. Ball, A.J. Boston, P. Bricault, R.S. Chakrawarthy, R. Churchman, N.B. Cowan, G. Cronkhite, E.S. Cunningham, T.E. Drake, P. Finlay, P.E. Garrett, G.F. Grinyer, B. Hyland, B. Jones, J.R. Leslie, J.-P. Martin, D. Morris, A.C. Morton, A.A. Phillips, F. Sarazin, M.A. Schumaker, C.E. Svensson, J.J. Valiente-Dobon, J.C. Waddington, L.M. Watters & L. Zimmerman , Nuclear Instr.and Methods A543, 431-440, 2005.
Position sensitivity of the TIGRESS 32-fold segmented HPGe clover detector, C.E. Svensson, G. Hackman, C.J. Pearson, M.A. Schumaker, H.C. Scraggs, M.B. Smith, C. Andreoiu, A. Andreyev, R.A.E. Austin, G.C. Ball, A.J. Boston, R.S. Chakrawarthy, R. Churchman, N.B. Cowan, T.E. Drake, P. Finlay, P.E. Garrett, G.F. Grinyer, B. Hyland, B. Jones, J.P. Martin, A.C. Morton, A.A. Phillips, R. Roy, F. Sarazin, N. Starinsky, J.J. Valiente-Dobon, J.C. Waddington & L.M. Watters, Nuclear Instr.and Methods A540, 348-360, 2005.


I made the first map of an exoplanet!
Posters & White Papers
Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minorities in Astronomy: Executive Summary, D. Norman et al., 2009
Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minorities in Astronomy Through K-12 Education and Public Outreach (Paper II), D. Norman et al., 2009
Increasing the Number of Underrepresented Minorities in Astronomy at the Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postdoctoral Levels (Paper I), D. Norman et al., 2009
Transits and Secondary Eclipses of HD~189733b with Spitzer, E. Agol, N.B. Cowan, J.M. Bushong, H. Knutson, D. Charbonneau, D. Deming & J. Steffen, talk for IAU Transiting Planets Symposium 2008 (Cambridge, MA).
Mapping Exoplanets with Phase Variations, N.B. Cowan & E. Agol, poster IAU Transiting Planets Symposium 2008 (Cambridge, MA).
Pre-MAP: A Case Study in Evaluating Astronomy Diversity Efforts, D. Haggard, S. Garner & N.B. Cowan, Spectrum, June 2008.
Mapping Exoplanets, N.B. Cowan & E. Agol, talk for Astrobiology Science Conference 2008 (Santa Clara, CA).
When Galaxies Collide, N.B. Cowan, poster for Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference 2008 (Santa Clara, CA).
Observations of Extrasolar Planets During the non-Cryogenic Spitzer Space Telescope Mission, D. Deming, E. Agol, D. Charbonneau, N.B. Cowan, H. Knutson & M. Marengo, The Science Opportunities of the Warm Spitzer Mission Workshop, 943, 89.
Comparative Climatology: a Toy Model for interpreting IR Photometry of Hot Jupiters, N.B. Cowan, E. Agol & D. Charbonneau, poster for Extreme Solar Systems 2007 (Santorini, GR).
Detection and Characterization of Extrasolar Planets Using the Spitzer Space Telescope, D. Deming, E. Agol, N.B. Cowan, D. Charbonneau, H. Knutson, T. Soifer & M. Werner, white paper for the NASA Exoplanets Taskforce.
Galaxy Environments in SDSS, N.B. Cowan & Z. Ivezić, poster for A New Zeal for Old Galaxies 2007 (Rotorua, NZ).
Hot Nights on Extrasolar Planets, N.B. Cowan, E. Agol & D. Charbonneau, poster for American Astronomical Society Meeting 2007 (Seattle, WA).
Thermal Emission of Hot Jupiters, N.B. Cowan, E. Agol & D. Charbonneau, poster for Astrobiology Science Conference 2006 (Washington, DC).