Boggess received a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Michigan. She began working at NASA in 1968 and was a leader within the Agency in promoting development of the IRAS satellite and Kuiper airborne platforms to study the universe at infrared wavelengths. She worked at the Goddard Space Flight Center on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft in the latter 1980s and early 1990s. COBE's measurements of the cosmic background radiation from the "Big Bang" confirmed theories of the origin of the universe. This work resulted in a 2006 Nobel price to COBE team leaders John Mather and George Smoot.