Samantha Blair

Online MSL Candidate ’23

Dr. Samantha Kaj Blair is an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dalton State College in Dalton, GA. She teaches Solar System and Stellar and Galactic Astronomy and calculus and trigonometry-based physics courses. Dr. Blair is the Co-Director of the Dalton State College Observatory which houses a 24” planewave reflector. Her research currently involves detecting radio frequency radiation at 20.1 MHz from Jupiter and the Sun using rudimentary half-wave dipole antennas provided by the NASA Citizen Science Radio JOVE Project built by students.

Upon entering the MSL Animal Law program, Samantha commenced a second career in Animal Advocacy to use her professional efforts helping to end animal cruelty and advocating for welfare and conservation through legislation. Her passion for and growing concern at the state of animals in the U.S. and around the globe led her to this turning point in her career.

Dr. Blair received her BS in Forestry from Auburn University in 2000, her M.S. in Biology from Auburn in 2003 and her PhD in Physics and Astronomy at University of Georgia in 2008. She accepted a Post Doc at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, CA where she investigated broadband extraterrestrial signals. She moved to Hat Creek, CA to serve as the Staff Astronomer for the Allen Telescope Array for UC Berkeley, and then moved to the Atacama Desert in Chile to serve as a Commissioning Scientist for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array. The Atacama Large Millimeter is a high-frequency 66 dish radio interferometer located at 16,000 ft in the driest desert in the world. She currently spends her time teaching, playing with her dogs, volunteering for the Chattanooga Zoo, gardening, and hiking and camping with her husband.