Henry C. Ferguson

Biographical Information

Current Activities

I am an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). My research interests center on galaxy evolution and cosmology. I currently serve as chair of the Senior Science Staff, and a member of the Mission Engineering and Science Analysis group (MESA), which focuses on cross-instrument and cross-mission science system-engineering issues for the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope.

I am co-Principal Investigator of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS), a 3-year observing program using Hubble to study the most distant galaxies and to provide better measurements of the expansion-history of the universe.

I serve as head of the Galaxies Collaboration for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a wide-field optical survey telescope to be built in Chile. The survey is expected to start in 2019 and last for 10 years.

Other Activities

Other research efforts have included: studies of the distant universe using deep reference fields, such GOODS and the Hubble Deep Field; studies of nearby galaxies including dwarf galaxies and resolved stellar populations; and measuring cosmological parameters.

I have been a co-investigator on the Advance Dark Energy Physics Telescope (ADEPT) concept study and served on the Science and Technology Definition Team for The Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C).

As an astronomer at STScI, I have served as an instrument scientist for the WFPC2 and STIS instruments, Deputy Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a member of the Science Mission Office, head of the Science Instruments Support Division, and head of the Webb Instrument Team.

In my spare time, play (mostly) celtic traditional music on the hammered dulcimer and button accordion, at sessions and as a member of the Tanzania Ceili Band.

Education and Recognition

  • 1977 St. Paul's School, Concord, NH
  • 1981 AB Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • 1986-89 NASA Graduate Student Researchers Fellowship
  • 1990 PhD The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • 1990-1993 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 1991-1992 Visiting Fellow, Clare Hall College, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 1993-1995 Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, STScI, Baltimore, MD
  • 1997 STScI Service Award
  • 1998 AURA Science Award
  • 2006 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science