Northwestern University

Wed 12:00 PM

WED@NICO SEMINAR: Leslie DeChurch, Northwestern University "Deep Space Collaboration"

Leslie DeChurch

When: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: Chambers Hall, Lower Level, 600 Foster St, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Meghan Stagl   847.491.2527

Group: Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO)

Category: Academic

More Info



Leslie DeChurch, Professor of Communication Studies, Northwestern University


Deep Space Collaboration


Are we really going to Mars? The astronautical community certainly believes the answer is "yes." Scientists all over the world are solving puzzles related to rocket reusability, human resistance to radiation exposure, and terraforming Mars to warm it up and give it a breathable atmosphere. The scientific challenges of a Mars mission are not confined to physical science - the social and organizational sciences will play an essential role. A central mission parameter for deep space exploration is teamwork, and NASA’s risk assessment for teamwork is currently “Red - requires mitigation”. In this talk, I consider the teamwork challenges posed by a Mars mission, share the latest research being done to address those challenges, and lastly, consider the implications of this research for the many teams tackling important challenges here on Earth.

Speaker Bio:

Leslie DeChurch investigates teamwork and leadership in organizations. She is Professor of Communication Studies, in the School of Communication, and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences at Northwestern. DeChurch’s ATLAS lab (Advancing Teams, Leaders, and Systems) explores the dynamics through which teams form, and how these dynamics affect their performance as teams, and their ability to work as larger organizational systems (multiteam systems). ATLAS conducts laboratory and online experiments, meta-analytic integrations, and field studies of teams and leaders to understand their core organizing processes like leadership networks, team cognition, team conflict and motivation, and team information sharing. ATLAS research is currently supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes for Health (NIH), and National Aeronautical and Space Agency (NASA). Her work has appeared in outlets including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Journal of Applied Psychology (JAP), Journal of Management (JoM), Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes (OBHDP), and Leadership Quarterly (LQ). She is co-editor of Multiteam Systems: An Organization Form for Dynamic and Complex Environments and recently served on the National Research Council Committee on The Context of Military Environments. She has contributed to several National Research Council Committees on teamwork issues ranging from measurement to innovation. She was awarded an NSF CAREER to explore Leadership for Virtual Organizational Effectiveness, and is currently President and Chairperson of the Board of INGRoup, the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research. DeChurch holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology and is Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Society of Industrial & Organizational Psychology (SIOP).

Video of this talk:

Further reading:

How teamwork could make or break NASA Mars mission - Northwestern Now, February 17, 2019

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