Julie Palais grew up in Newton, Massachusetts where she attended Newton North High School, graduating in 1974. She received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Geology/Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire in 1978. She attended The Ohio State University between 1978 and 1985, where she earned both a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy in Geological and Earth Sciences. In 2019 she completed a Master of Science degree from Canisius College in a new field called Anthrozoology, which focuses on the study of human-animal interactions. For more than 26 years Julie directed the Antarctic Glaciology Program in the Division of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation. She made 28 trips to Antarctica and three trips to Greenland during her years as a researcher and polar administrator. Palais Glacier and Palais Bluff, two features in Antarctica, were named in her honor, by the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN). Palais is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Geophysical Union, the International Glaciological Society, the American Polar Society, the Explorers Club and the Animals and Society Institute. In 2007, the Explorers Club named her a co-recipient of the Lowell Thomas Award for her contributions to breakthroughs in glaciology and climate science. In 2017, the International Glaciological Society awarded Palais the Richardson Medal for her service to the U.S. and international glaciological and ice core science communities and in May 2019 the University of New Hampshire awarded her an honorary degree for her contributions to climate change research.