Sally Bensusen, Senior Graphic Designer

Sally Bensusen


Phone: (240) 542-1171 (office-M,Tu,W)
Fax: (301) 474-5970
Personal Url:


Providing a visual link between science and the general public by creating explanatory and conceptual illustration, booklets, posters, lenticular products, and novelty items for use by scientists as well as the science-attentive public.


Formerly a staff astronomer with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C, Sally Bensusen combined her science and art backgrounds to pursue a full-time career as a scientific illustrator in 1981. She has operated her own studio for over 21 years.

She has been commissioned regularly by the Smithsonian magazine, National Geographic Society, Scientific American and various other publications worldwide. She developed and illustrated a monthly feature for Natural History magazine for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her art was featured monthly in Natural History’s "Biomechanics" column, working closely with scientists for each issue. She performed numerous lectures and workshops for colleagues in scientific illustration, both domestic and foreign, on illustration and business practices during this part of her career.

Since 2002, Sally has worked as a Graphic Artist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, providing outreach materials in support of various projects: Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP, a mission that measured the fundamental properties of the universe); NASA Science satellite missions (Earth Science, Astrophysics, Heliophysics, Planetary Sciences).

During this period, she has been production manager on “Our Changing Planet: The View from Space,” a collaborative book describing Earth’s natural systems and how humans observe our planet with remote sensing; directories for two national illustrator associations. The task involved coordinating content from the four editors, obtaining images from the visualization team, setting production meetings, and coordinating deadlines with the publisher, Cambridge University Press. She also helped to obtain publicity for the book and scheduled a radio interview for two of the book’s editors.

Her current tasks primarily involve providing science outreach materials about Earth and NASA’s satellite missions, both for scientists and the general public, and in support of scientific conferences and public events. These include developing lenticular cards about Earth science, booklets, posters, iBooks, satellite mission brochures, all demonstrating NASA’s role in understanding Earth’s changing systems.