By Roadtrip Nation

Adriana Ocampo Uria


My road in life has been direct.
I’m originally from Colombia but was also raised in Argentina.
I emigrated with my family to the United States where I was able to pursue my dream of becoming a scientist working at NASA.
I originally wanted to become an aerospace engineer and started volunteering at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when I was in high school.
I attended Pasadena City College and then transferred to California State University, Los Angeles, where I changed my trajectory from aerospace engineering and earned my bachelor’s degree in geology.
I continued to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory throughout college and accepted a full-time position as a research scientist after graduating.
I went on to earn my master’s degree in planetary geology from California State University, Northridge, and completed my Ph.D. at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Some of my career accomplishments include discoveries on the Chicxulub impact crater, leading the data analysis of Jupiter’s moon Europa as part of the Galileo mission, and leading the Juno mission.
I currently work as lead program executive for NASA's New Frontiers Program.
Keep following my journey


High School
Associate's Degree
Aerospace Engineering
Pasadena City College
California State University, Los Angeles
Planetary Geology
California State University, Northridge
Planetary Geology
Vrije Universiteit


Planetary Geologist & Science Program Manager

I oversee space exploration missions under NASA's New Frontiers Program.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Always be ready to volunteer. Find a place you'd like to work and see if they offer any volunteer or co-op opportunities. I got started at NASA by volunteering when I was in high school. Try to get involved with societies and organizations for a field you're interested in. I joined the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, which was an amazing experience that helped me develop leadership and networking skills. Finally, look for mentors to help support and guide you throughout your journey.


The Noise I Shed

From Teachers:

"Geology is not for women."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant
School Stress