Joyce has trained for the past 35 years astronaut and cosmonaut for the human life sciences experiments that are performed on the Int’l Space Station.
These experiments cover a variety of investigations on how long-term life in zero-gravity affects the human body (changes in retina, bone density, body mass, muscle atrophy, psychological stress, blood pressure, sleep patterns, nutrition, pulmonary function, etc.) While on the ISS, the astros/cosmos supply many urine, saliva, and blood samples, and use many different medical instruments such as ultrasound, mass measuring device, gas analyzer, etc. to provide more data for the scientists. They also vary their diet, exercise, and fill out questionnaires to provide as much data as possible to the scientists on the ground.
Joyce is part of a team that figures out which crew members need to get trained on what experiments, and works with all the various organizations involved to make sure their training materials are effective, the instructors are good teachers, the training gets scheduled, the crew members learn what they need to learn, and the training gets updated based on what actually happens on-orbit.
The overall goal is to learn how humans adapt to zero-gravity, what things need to be done to ensure that they are able to maintain their health, and how that will affect future longer-duration spaceflight.
Joyce received the Gaza by Night (where we can see Gaza taken from the International Space Station taken by astronaut Alexander Gerst who landed on Earth this week!) All the information here comes from her colleague Susan who purchased the scarf as a surprise.
I love NASA!