Jarita Holbrook is an Associate Professor of Physics and part of the Astronomy and Cosmology Group at the University of the Western Cape. Her doctorate, focused on star formation, is in Astronomy & Astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a leader in the interdisciplinary field of Cultural Astronomy. She has done much to promote the study of African Indigenous Astronomy. Her research includes studies of astrophysicists, media, and science communication, for more info click here.
Dr. Holbrook uses interview based inquiry to collect data on a variety of topics within Cultural Astronomy. She did research among sailors and navigators to identify modern day uses of the stars for ocean navigation which resulted in the book Following the Stars to be published by USP Press. Her research on the national astrophysics education program revealed strategies on how to successfully educate underserved populations. Currently, she is researching practices of inclusion and exclusion through analyzing socioeconomic class, gender, and ethnicity among database-driven astrophysics collaborations.
Dr. Holbrook’s research is of interest beyond the Cultural Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Academic community; thus, she has several media projects designed to reach the general public including films and videos. She has hosted several episodes of Open Studio on Cape Town TV focused on “Opportunities in Astronomy in Cape Town.” Her video blog, “Astronomy in Cape Town” can be found on her YouTube channel.