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The ongoing efforts of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) alongside the recent Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey prioritization of a large-scale space-based exoplanet direct imaging mission point to a forthcoming era of exo-Earths. However, new results from JWST highlight outstanding challenges to both maintaining and characterizing potentially ocean-bearing worlds around low-mass stars. While a future direct imaging mission would emphasize habitable worlds around more Sun-like hosts, questions remain as to how to recognize signs of habitability and life from noisy, unresolved observations. Woven through all of these efforts are models of exoplanetary climate and spectra, but recent intercomparison studies have shown just how little we understand about exoplanet climate modeling. Critically, the Earth sciences will have increasingly larger impacts in exoplanet science as the era of exo-Earths develops.
Tyler D. Robinson (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at University of Arizona with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Astronomy. He uses sophisticated radiative transfer and climate tools to study the atmospheres of Solar System worlds, exoplanets, and brown dwarfs. Tyler also develops instrument models for exoplanet direct imaging. He combines these areas of expertise in his ongoing work as a team member of both NASA’s Habitable Worlds Observatory (HWO) and NASA’s Roman Coronagraph Instrument (RCI). Tyler was a member of the Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx) Science and Technology Definition Team, and contributed to the LUVOIR, WFIRST/Rendezvous, and Origins Space Telescope mission concept studies. Tyler is a Cottrell Scholar, as well as a former NASA Sagan Fellow and NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow.