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Phoenix Fan Fusion May 2019

Hailing Frequencies Open

Speaker Series

“Hailing Frequencies Open!”

We have our next speaker series event scheduled. Join us on Thursday, June 29th at 5:00 PM PDT/8:00 PM EDT. Topic: Astronomy and seeking out strange new worlds and new life!

Join our host Dr. Michael Wong, Planetary Scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth & Planets Laboratory and our panelists, Tim Russ, amateur astronomer best known to Star Trek fans as Tuvok from Voyager/Picard and Dr. Kayla Iacovino, Volcano Scientist and frequent contributor to

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Dr. Michael L. Wong


Dr. Michael L. Wong is NASA Sagan Fellow working at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Earth & Planets Laboratory whose research focuses on understanding how to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life. Inspired by Star Trek since childhood, he majored in planetary science at UC Berkeley before earning his master’s and PhD from Caltech, also in planetary science. When it came time to defend his dissertation, there was only one logical wardrobe choice: a Starfleet science officer’s uniform. Prior to joining Carnegie, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Astronomy and Astrobiology Program at the University of Washington. Mike is also passionate about science education and public outreach and hosts Strange New Worlds: A Science & Star Trek Podcast.

Tim Russ


Dr. Kayla Iacovino


Dr. Kayla Iacovino is a volcano scientist with Jacobs at NASA Johnson Space Center. Having been a Star Trek fan practically from birth, the legacy of Nichelle Nichols and countless other women involved in Trek both in front of and behind the camera have shaped her life and career.

As Star Trek teaches us, humanity must explore. This drive for discovery and betterment has taken Dr. Iacovino to volcanoes around the world in such exotic places as Antarctica, DR Congo, North Korea, Chile, Costa Rica, and more. There she takes samples and measurements to understand how volcanoes work, why they erupt, and how volcanic processes shape the Earth and other planets. In her lab at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, she simulates the conditions inside of magma chambers to map out and understand how molten rock at high pressures and temperatures drives volcanic eruptions and shapes planets. Since 2019, Dr. Iacovino has worked with NASA to study not only our planet but volcanoes and magmas in outer space. Her work looks at how planets form and evolve over time to answer such questions as: how might we look for life on other worlds? Why is the Earth so different from the other planets in our solar system? How do planets become planets?

Dr. Iacovino is passionate about passing on her love of science and exploration to future generations and in supporting those with fewer opportunities. As Nichelle showed us with her unparalleled outreach and advisory efforts, one person can make a big difference in many lives.

We will be beaming into the Star Trek Las Vegas show August 3rd-6tth. Please visit our booth for amazing product and art work with proceeds going to the Nichelle Nichols foundation to send young women to space camp.