Graduate student, research assistant, U. Washington
What's the coolest thing about EPOXI?
It is really cool that the EPOXI mission was able to re-use an existing spacecraft in order to make observations that the spacecraft was not initially designed to make. Talk about being efficient and innovative!
Why do you like working at the University of Washington?
Working at the University of Washington is great because I get to live in Seattle. Seattle is a very energetic town with a lot of young, forward-thinking people. The climate in Seattle is quite mild. The rain is not as bad as we make it out to be and the summers are amazing!
What is your job on the EPOXI mission?
My advisor (Dr. Vikki Meadows) and I are in charge of running a comprehensive spectral model of Earth. We hope to improve our model by trying to reproduce the EPOXI observations of Earth.
How did you end up in Space Science?
As an undergraduate at the University of Arizona I became very interested in theoretical physics. I soon learned that astrophysics is (in my opinion) the coolest branch of theoretical physics.
What do you do in your spare time?
In the summer I keep a vegetable garden. Making sure that all of my delicious vegetables stay happy and healthy is a lot of work! As a child who grew up on the original Nintendo, I am still (slightly) addicted to video games.
Who in your life inspired you?
My father is an inspiration in my life. He taught me the value of hard work; no matter what the task, it is important to always try your hardest at accomplishing that task. My scientific career has been inspired by an outstanding professor that I had at the University of Arizona, Dr. Drew Milsom, and a great scientist who taught me the joy of research, Dr. Adam Burrows.
What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
I am still working towards obtaining my Ph.D., so that is a big life goal for me. That said, I would also like to run a marathon one day.
Were you science-oriented as a young person?
I always excelled in math and science courses as a young person. When I was in grade school, I had a chemistry set that I loved to play with.
What was your favorite book as a young person?
I read Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park at a young age. I was in love this book and the idea that we could bring back the dinosaurs.
What did you want to become when you were young?
When I was young, I was convinced that I would grow up to be a paleontologist. I spent a lot of time collecting fossils and reading about dinosaurs.
If you weren't working in space exploration now, what might you be doing?
I have always thought that it would be fun to be a video game programmer. It helps that I really enjoy computer programming and that I get to do a lot of it in my current line of work!