CHICAGO (CBS) – The Adler Planetarium is getting a new leader: a woman who describes herself as an amateur astronomer.

Starting the first of the year, astrophysicist Michelle Larson will be the first female president of the Adler.

READ MORE: Investigators Raid Three Locations Of Parlor Pizza Restaurant

In fact, she will be the first woman as permanent head of any of the institutions on Chicago’s museum campus.

She’s currently a vice provost and professor at Utah State University.

READ MORE: City Council Approves Mayor Lori Lightfoot's 2022 Budget Plan, With Support Of Most Progressive Aldermen

She has previously worked for NASA, Cal Tech and Penn State in what she calls her not-so-traditional, but enjoyable, career path.

Adler’s chairman says she’ll oversee the continuing conversion of the planetarium into a 21st Century museum.

She takes over from Paul Knappenberger who’s retiring after 21 years

MORE NEWS: 'I Can't Believe It's Been Three Years:' Community Prepares To Remember, Reflect On Tree Of Life Shooting

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger Reports