Directions with Stan Grant

Rising above: NASA pioneer Dr Kathryn Sullivan on space, oceans, and climate change

May 26, 2021

Geologist Dr Kathryn Sullivan tackles the world’s biggest challenges with a little innovation

Dr Kathryn Sullivan’s innate curiosity and love of exploration has led her to outer space, to ocean floors, and to leadership roles solving complex issues like climate change, poverty, inequality, and political unrest.

As a specialist geologist, Dr Sullivan was recruited by NASA to become the first American woman to walk in space in 1984. She was also the first woman to dive to one of the earth’s deepest ocean floors.

Dr Sullivan led the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one of the world’s most important agencies. There she worked to track and map how the earth is evolving and how our climate is changing.

Now she’s coupling her sense of exploration with spatial technology to help better understand how interdependent life on this planet really is. 

Named by the BBC as one of 'the most influential women of 2020', Dr Sullivan leads so generations may follow.

Next episode: Mike King, criminal profiler and cold case investigator.


For more from Dr Kathryn Sullivan, visit:


Directions is a podcast hosted by award-winning journalist Stan Grant about how leaders use technology and innovation to solve problems and to shape our increasingly complex world. 

This is a BGT Production created in partnership with Esri Australia.

Esri Australia is the nation's leading GIS technology and services provider and part of the BGT group.

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