Introducing Joshua Peek

Joshua Peek is an astronomer working at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD. Josh did his undergraduate work at Harvard, and did REUs at Princeton using the earliest data from SDSS. He spent a year working on the Submillimeter Array in Hawaii, where he developed his taste for radio astronomy. Josh did his PhD in astronomy at UC Berkeley, working with Carl Heiles and Mary Putman on the Galactic Arecibo L-Band Feed Array Neutral Hydrogen survey, which he continues to organize, and the study of high-velocity clouds. Josh then moved to Columbia, where he was awarded a Hubble Fellowship. Josh began work at STScI in 2014 in a permanent position as an assistant astronomer and archive scientist. Josh splits his time between astronomy research and support of archive and data-driven initiatives at STScI.

Josh’s astronomical interests focus on the diffuse phase of gas and plasma in the universe, in and surrounding galaxies. This includes radio observations of neutral hydrogen, absorption line measurements in the UV and optical, probing dust using background objects, and leveraging simulations of galaxy formation. He’s also interested in the image domain, and developing machine vision tools for extracting information from complex astronomical scenes.

In his capacity as archive scientist, Josh works for MAST and WFIRST, and supports many of STScI’s data-driven initiatives. He’s developed tools for connecting data and the literature and is designing new interfaces for MAST holdings. He’s helped develop STScI’s vision for big data, and is helping to set up the new Data Science Mission Office. He is also the lead of the STScI’s concept development for the WFIRST archive.


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