I am currently a Research Scientist with the Space Technology and Science ("NewSpace") Initiative at Arizona State University. I work on commercial spaceflight projects and martian geomorphology research. I'm also a Science Team Collaborator on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity.
I received my Ph.D. in Geology with a specialization in Planetary Science and Exploration from the University of Western Ontario's Centre for Planetary Science and Space Exploration (CPSX). From 2008 until 2012, I was on the science operations team for NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Context Camera (CTX) and Mars Color Imager (MARCI) at Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS). For CTX, I chose what the camera takes pictures of in a given week and then analyze those images from a geologist’s standpoint. For MARCI, I wrote weather reports for the general public, as well as a few times for the Spirit and Opportunity rover teams to alert them of any impending storms that could threaten the rovers. I was also a science team collaborator for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Mast Cameras (Mastcam), Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and Mars Descent Imager (MARDI). While this work was exciting, I made the decision after 4 years to return to graduate school and get my Ph.D.
My undergraduate degree is in astronomy and physics from the University of Washington, and I did my graduate work in geology (well, “Earth and Environmental Sciences”) at Wesleyan University. Areas of interest include martian geomorphology and terrestrial analogues, spectroscopy, and glaciology. My work in astronomy has involved cooling mechanisms of interstellar dust clouds, diffuse interstellar bands, the metallicity of the old, metal-rich cluster NGC 6791, and the metallicity and lithium abundances of the recurrent novae T Coronae Borealis and RS Ophiuchi.
I have also been active in education and public outreach, getting involved with organizations such as The Planetary Society, Expanding Your Horizons, Girl Scouts, Norwescon, The Mars Society, and The National Space Society.