Annette S. Lee is an astrophysicist, artist and the Director of the Native Skywatchers research and programming initiative. She has over three decades of experience in education as a teacher, university instructor, teacher educator, program administrator, professional visual artist, and researcher. Annette is mixed-race Lakota and her communities are Ojibwe and D/Lakota.
Designed by Lee, the Native Skywatchers initiative seeks to remember and revitalize indigenous star and earth knowledge. The overarching goal of Native Skywatchers is to communicate the knowledge that indigenous people traditionally practiced a sustainable way of living and sustainable engineering through a living and participatory relationship with the above and below, sky and earth. The program aims to improve current inequities in education for native young people, to inspire increased cultural pride, and promote community wellness.
Annette’s work lives at the nexus of art, science, and culture. With a PhD in Physics and Astronomy, Lee has worked to develop culturally responsive curriculum and strategies, both anchored in Indigenous knowledge systems. Receiving an MFA from Yale School of Art (2000) with a focus on painting and a thesis show entitled “Star Medicine”, the work has since grown into mixed media, digital media, and curating museum exhibits. Annette co-curated an exhibit at the National Museum of Science and Technology- Ingenium called “One Sky-Many Astronomies." Currently she is lead curator and indigenous design advisor for an indigenous astronomy traveling exhibit, “One Sky-Many Worlds: Indigenous Voices in Astronomy,” opening May 2022.
Currently Annette is an Associate Professor of Astronomy & Physics at St. Cloud State University, Director of the SCSU Planetarium, and Honorary/Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern Queensland in the Centre for Astrophysics, Distinguished Lecturer-Archaeological Institute of America-Webster Lectureship, and an American Astronomical Society Shapley Lecturer.