Jacob Haqq-Misra’s curiosity about science and philosophy began as a child and led him to study computational astrophysics as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Intrigued by the discovery of extrasolar planets—and the possibility of life elsewhere—he then moved to Penn State to pursue graduate studies in atmospheric dynamics and astrobiology in order to understand the suitability of terrestrial planets for supporting life. Much of his technical research involves the use of computer models to understand complex systems, but his broader interests include sustainable development, climate change, extraterrestrial life, and environmental ethics. He currently lives in Clayton, Delaware and works as a research scientist with the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science.
Jacob’s interest in research is complemented by his passion for science education. He has participated in numerous public outreach events that include hands-on demonstrations for kindergartners, philosophical discussions with high school students, and science workshops for educators, and he also has been interviewed on science radio and television programs. He is the author of Planetary Messenger, a philosophical novel that explores the social, scientific, and spiritual consequences of discovering another planet like Earth. This book has found a diversity of audiences ranging from churches to music festivals and has been a successful way of engaging the public in thinking about science in their own lives. He also serves on the board of directors for Blue Marble Space, a non-proﬁt scientific corporation dedicated to promoting and enabling international unity in space exploration.
Jacob enjoys performing music as a jazz drummer, conguero, and vibraphonist. His musical experience is diverse and includes jazz combos, wind ensembles, pit orchestra, jam bands, cover bands, and bluegrass. He is a member of the psychedelic rock band Mysterytrain and plays regular shows around the Northeastern region.