I was born in Dublin, California in 1988. I received my high school diploma in 2006 from Portola High School in northeast California. Four years later, I completed my Bachelor of Science degree in physics with Highest Honors at the University of California, Davis. I joined the Physics Department at the University of Washington in 2012 and ultimately finished my PhD in Physics with a Graduate Certificate in Astrobiology in 2021. For 2 years, I was a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. Now, I'm an Affiliate Research Scientist with Blue Marble Institute of Science, working on NASA-funded research projects. For more information on my experience and qualifications, visit the experience page.
Central Pasadena is where I currently call home.
Though I'm passionate about space physics, Europa, teaching, and outreach, I have many other interests. Graduate studies are a busy time, but there are some fun activities I try to make time for:
Creation of 3-dimensional artwork is one of my favorite hobbies. Past projects include wood and foam carving, paper mache, woodworking, and metalworking. Shown below is a recent work-in-progress, the capstone of an extensive costume honoring Kerbal Space Program.
Similarly, I enjoy creating 3-dimensional simulations, themselves electronic artwork. In previous work in physics education research, I created some simulations for educational purposes. Examples may be found in my program staging area on the GlowScript website. A sample animation I contributed to is below--click the image to toggle animation.
This program is used to demonstrate how electric and magnetic fields oscillate in waves of light. I made significant contributions to this simulation, which was originally created by Ximena Cid. Click here for the interactive program.
More fun coding projects
I frequently create programs and graphics for sharing my research, and sometimes completely for fun. When I think others might enjoy or benefit from that products I create, I add them to my 'fun' GitHub repository! Here's an example of a diagram I created of the solar system, on a logarithmic scale, for an important day in my life:
The Python code for this diagram can be found here, in my 'fun' GitHub repository. The program will accept any date, so download it and plot the planets for your special day!
When the opportunity arises, I delight in playing video games, especially with friends. One of my top favorites is Kerbal Space Program. It's unique among video games: An earth-and-space simulator, accessible for those of all backgrounds. You build and fly your own planes and rockets, put together like LEGOs--one piece at a time. From landing modules to space stations, it's a great way to indulge your creative side.
Sending little green people on missions to another planet, even in a virtual universe, is a very rewarding experience. Shown below are my Kerbals commemorating a successful landing on Tylo, a moon of the gas giant Jool.
I find hiking, climbing, and kayaking to be fantastic ways to unwind and de-stress. Few surroundings instill a feeling of peace as does the calm of a lush, green forest, or a still lake echoing with birdsong. I make frequent trips to enjoy nearby mountains.