Charity Woodrum,


Ph.D. Candidate

Charity is a Doctoral Candidate and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, working under the supervision of Professor Marcia Rieke. She is also a member of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope Near-IR Camera (NIRCam) science team and the JADES collaboration. She earned a B.S. in Physics at the University of Oregon, where she conducted research with Dr. Scott Fisher and Dr. Inger Jørgensen.

Refereed Publications

Molecular Gas Reservoirs in Massive Quiescent Galaxies at z~0.7 Linked to Late-time Star Formation

C. Woodrum, C.C. Williams, M. Rieke, J. Leja et al. 2022, ApJ, 940, 39 [ADS]

ALMA Measures Rapidly Depleted Molecular Gas Reservoirs in Massive Quiescent Galaxies at z~1.5

C.C. Williams, J. Spilker, K. Whitaker, R. Dave, C. Woodrum, et al. 2021, ApJ, 908, 54 [ADS]

The Gemini/HST Galaxy Cluster Project: Stellar Populations in the Low Redshift Reference Cluster Galaxies

I. Jørgensen, K. Chiboucas, K. Webb, C. Woodrum, AJ, 156, 224 [ADS]

The Evolution of Bulge-dominated Field Galaxies from z~1 to the Present

C. Woodrum, I. Jørgensen, R. S. Fisher, et al. 2017, ApJ, 847, 20 [ADS]



University of Arizona

Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics


University of Arizona

M.S. in Astronomy & Astrophysics


University of Oregon

B.S. in Physics


Umpqua Community College

A.A.S. in Nursing (RN)

Research Interests

  • Extragalactic astronomy

  • Galaxy formation and evolution

  • Galaxy quenching

One of the most outstanding questions in modern astrophysics is why massive galaxies cease their star formation, a process often called quenching. Charity's research seeks to understand the physical processes driving this quenching. To do so, she uses the observations of galaxies, with both ground-based and space-based telescopes, to study their star formation and chemical enrichment histories.

About the Film

Space, Hope and Charity is an independent documentary film by Sandy Cummings about Charity's life as a young woman from rural Oregon whose dream of becoming an astrophysicist is nearly derailed when she suffers a devastating tragedy.

​Charity was a nontraditional university student, raised in poverty, and the first in her family to graduate from high school. In her mid-20s, she was married and nine months pregnant when she decided to return to school to study physics. Life felt perfect. Then, what she calls "The Worst Day." Her world was destroyed.

With help from friends old and new, she finds her way back to the distant galaxies where she feels most at peace.

Woody's Stars

After losing her son Woody, Charity dreamed of honoring him by offering financial support and mentorship to students in his name.

The Woody’s Stars Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation supports college students as they follow their own dreams of succeeding in STEM. This fund would not be possible without the support of Sandy Cummings (director of Space, Hope and Charity), Kathy Deggendorfer (founder of the Roundhouse Foundation), and Dr. Scott Fisher.

You can be part of Woody's Stars by clicking "donate" below.

Selected Press

Selection of JWST Photos

Science Outreach

Charity is available to collaborate on educational projects. Below are a few examples of events where she has engaged with the public as a scientist. You can also request her as a NASA expert for community events through NASA's Universe of Learning at this link.

Keynote speaker for Churchill High School's Women in Science Symposium

JWST Expert for many different events, including appearing LIVE on National TV

Tour Guide of the Night Sky at

Pine Mountain Observatory

Contact Information

Department of Astronomy and

Steward Observatory

933 N Cherry Avenue

Tucson, AZ 85721