Dr. Catherine Johnson has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences

May 5, 2023
Dr. Catherine Johnson (credit: Junyi Sun)

Dr. Catherine Johnson, Professor in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Dr, Johnson is among 120 new members and 23 international members elected this week, and she joins five other UBC Science researchers as a member of the Academy. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, non-profit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. Members are elected to the NAS in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted mark of excellence in science and is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.

Dr. Johnson uses observatory and satellite data to probe the interior structure and history of terrestrial planets, moons and small bodies in our solar system. She has been a co-investigator on several NASA planetary missions. Recent work by Dr. Johnson has delved into the geological characteristics of Mars and Earth’s moon. The research indicates Mars had a global magnetic field much earlier—and much later—in the planet's history than scientists have previously known. Her work with researchers at the Smithsonian using Apollo mission seismic data shows that some shallow moonquakes can be linked to young faults—evidence that the moon, like Earth, is tectonically active.

Read more:

Five UBC Science researchers join Royal Society of Canada

UBC Science: UBC planetary scientist elected to U.S. National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences Elects Members and International Members
Dr. Catherine Johnson elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Professor Catherine Johnson Awarded Killam Research Prize