Dr. Geert Barentsen has been appointed to Director of the Kepler/K2 Guest Observer Office at NASA Ames and will take up this new position on April 1. Geert earned a Ph.D in astrophysics from Queens University Belfast and has a background in star formation. Geert has been with the Kepler/K2 GO office since June 2015, serving as a support scientist. During his time with the project Geert took leading role in coordinating the K2 C9 microlensing experiment.
After spending 6 years within the Kepler and K2 mission, current Director Dr. Tom Barclay will be moving to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Tom will take the position of Guest Investigator Deputy Director for the upcoming Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is due for launch in March 2018.
We are working to ensure that the transition is as seamless as possible, and are expecting to hire new staff in the near future. Geert and the rest of the Kepler/K2 team look forward continuing to support the scientific community in the coming years.