Education

University of Washington
Ph.D. in Astronomy, August 2008

Advisor: Suzanne L. Hawley
Thesis: Self-Consistent Quiescent Model Atmospheres for M Dwarfs

University of Washington
M.S. in Astronomy, June 2004

Johns Hopkins University
B.S. in Physics, May 2002

Thesis: Preflash Remediation of Radiation-Damaged CCDs


Research Interests

I study the ethics of Mars exploration, stellar magnetic activity, how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life, and how to use advanced computing to discover unusual events in large astronomical data sets. I also work on improving equity and inclusion in the sciences, using popular communication to engender a scientifically enfranchised public.


Selected Research Experience

  • Baruch S. Blumberg Chair of Astrobiology
    The Library of Congress
    2017 - 2018

  • Astronomer, The Adler Planetarium
    2014 - current

  • Kepler Fellow for the Study of Planet-Bearing Stars
    UC Berkeley, Supervisor: Gibor Basri
    2008 - 2011

  • Graduate Research Assistant
    U. Washington, Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL@UW), Supervisor: Victoria Meadows
    2007 - 2008

  • Undergraduate Research Assistant
    Johns Hopkins University, The Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys, Supervisors: Holland Ford, David Golimowski & Mark Clampin
    1997 - 2002


Selected Honors

  • Chicago Council on Science and Technology: Advancing the Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award, 2016

  • Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” Honoree, 2015

  • GOOD 100 Honoree, 2015

  • Kavli Fellow, Frontiers of Science, 2012

  • SpokeStar of the Year, Light Pollution Advocacy, Astronomical League, 2012

  • TED Senior Fellow (2013), TEDGlobal Fellow, 2011

  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, 2011 (declined)

  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 2004


Selected Service

  • Founding Director, LSST Data Science Fellowship Program, 2015 - current

  • Breakthrough Listen Advisory Committee, 2015 - current

  • LSST Science Advisory Council , 2014 - current

  • Member, Board of Directors, Gemini Observatory, 2016 - 2018

  • LSST Science Collaboration Coordinator, 2015 - 2017

  • AAS Publications Board, 2015 - 2017

  • ExoPAG Executive Council , 2014 - 2017

  • Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship Board, 2015

  • Executive Council, AAS Working Group on Time Domain Astronomy, 2014 - 2016

  • Chair, LSST Transients and Variable Stars Science Collaboration, 2008 - 2015

  • POC, Hotwiring the Transient Universe III, IV, V, 2013, 2015, 2016

  • Organizer, “Joining the Electromagnetic & Gravitational Wave Skies”, Winter 2013 AAS

  • Member, Kepler User’s Panel, 2010 - 2012

  • SOC, Cool Stars XVI, Seattle WA, 2010


Outreach

  • Founder, Princeton Inclusion & Equity Discussion Group, 2012

  • Advisor, ASPIRE: The NASA Summer Art Program, 2012

  • Open House Coordinator, University of Washington, 2007

  • Program Coordinator, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, 2006

  • Instructor, Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment, UW, 2003 - 2004


Service

  • Instructor, University of Washington English 199: Writing in Astronomy, 2007 - 2008

  • Research Assistant, University of Washington, 2007 - 2008

    • Learning Initiative research for astronomy education

  • Instructor, University of Washington Introductory Astronomy, Summer 2006

  • Teaching Assistant, University of Washington, 9 Courses, 2002 - 2006


Grants

  • LSSTC Enabling Science - $500k, 2015

    • The LSSTCData Science Fellowship Program

  • New Frontiers in Astronomy & Cosmology – $250k, October 2012

    • Stellar Lighthouses: Detecting Signatures of Advanced Civilizations in Precision Stellar Photometry

  • Hubble Space Telescope GO 10525 – $105k, March 2005

    • Characterizing the Near–UV Environment of M Dwarfs: Implications for Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology