Noisy Astronomer joins the Sky Guys!

Greetings from overwhelmed-professor-land! Heh, yeah, I’m alive and even occasionally on social media these days. But life as a tenure track professor keeps me pretty busy, even during the summer months.

I have some exciting science outreach stuff happening starting this month, starting off with my first appearance on NHPR’s The Exchange on Wednesday, August 9th! I’ll be joining host Laura Knoy and “the Sky Guys” John Gianforte and Mal Cameron to round up all the exciting astronomy news of the last few months. We’ll get you ready for the Great American Eclipse, discuss some important NASA milestones and missions, and a whole bunch of other astronomical stuff. Miss the Weekly Space Hangout during it’s summer hiatus? Get your fix with us! Listen on your radio in New Hampshire or online at 9am Eastern. It’s an hour-long call-in show, so join the fun.

Speaking of the eclipse, I’ll be back in the St. Louis area to see my very first total solar eclipse! I’m taking the advice of many experienced folks and enjoying this one all for myself, so no outreach the day of the big event. But I will be sure to post some links here in a future post.

After that, the semester starts in earnest, but I’ll also be at DragonCon and GeekGirlCon doing panels and hands-on science activities. I’ll post more on that later as well. Until then, I’ll see you on Twitter!


Summer Travel

Summer as a full-time professor means I get the opportunity to travel. Actually, I have the opportunity to do a lot of things, and I’m currently trying to do them ALL. Because why not?

But, I am using my precious faculty development funds for a couple of conferences as well as a little bit of my own savings for some outreach. Let me know if you’ll be at any of these, and we can get a cup of coffee! Or three. Caffeine is good.

June 12 to June 14 – Cambridge, Massachusetts – International Public Science Events Conference

My buddy Stephen Granade tipped me off to a great conference practically in my backyard. Stephen is the director of the Science Track and DragonCon. I’ll be enjoying the sessions and facilitating one with another astronomy person on running star parties. There is also a fun public event related to the conference on Sunday night called “Solve for X Variety Show,” a “a quirky, irreverent, and sometimes informative science-themed variety show,” so check that out if you’re in the area.

June 20 to 23 – College Park, MD – AAPT New Faculty Workshop

I’ve been looking forward to this all year, the physics and astronomy workshop for us little newbies! It’s a closed workshop, but I’m hoping to get around and see some mid-Atlantic sights and people while I’m there.

June 30 to July 3 – Minneapolis, MN – SkepchickCon at CONvergence

I’m so excited to be going to CONvergence again this year! Though technically a personal trip, I’ll be doing lots of science outreach at the con. (And you can help us with our fundraiser to make it happen, and even win cool prizes!) I’ll be there with the rest of the Skepchick Network putting on some great programming, and my friend Amy Shira Teitel is even a special guest of the Con! The schedule of events is now posted, and here’s my schedule both for my own reference and if you want to come say hello (all times CDT):

  • Panspermia! Meteorites as Transportation – Thursday, 12:30pm, Double Tree Plaza 3
  • Skepchick Party room activity (comets or rockets?) – Thursday, 2pm, location TBA
  • Skepchick Party room activity (comets or rockets?) – Friday, 1pm, location TBA
  • Our Place in Space – Friday, 2pm, DoubleTree Atrium 4
  • Nature of Science – Friday, 5pm, DoubleTree Atrium 6
  • Mercury 13 – Friday, 7pm, DoubleTree Atrium 7
  • Play with Rockets (Safely) Sandbox Activity – Saturday, 9:30am, DoubleTree Plaza 2
  • Humans vs. Robots: Who Will Travel the Solar System? – Saturday, 11am, DoubleTree Plaza 3
  • Gasoline is SO Last Century – Saturday, 2pm, DoubleTree Plaza 1
  • The Tim Hunt Honorable “Women In Science” Presentations – Saturday, 5pm, DoubleTree Bloomington
  • Make a Comet Sandbox Activity – Saturday, 7pm, DoubleTree Plaza 2
  • Mega Space Structures – Sunday, 11am, Crowne Plaza U

Fun stuff.

SCIENCE! Photo by fizzixrat on Flickr

SCIENCE! Photo by fizzixrat on Flickr

Eventually I’ll be getting ready for DragonCon and GeekGirlCon as well, but that’s way off in the fall.

The hardest part of all this will be leaving Macey behind. I wish I could take her everywhere! But, I’m sure she’ll enjoy doggie daycare. Almost as much as she enjoys naps.

#FirstYearProf Comes to an End!

Tomorrow, I’ll be walking at graduation, but not my own. Nevertheless, it’s a momentous occasion for me. My first year as a professor has come to a close! It really felt over last week when I submitted all my final grades. But, it’s still nice to do the fancy dress up and, sadly, say goodbye to our departing seniors as they embark on their careers.

A couple of weeks ago, to celebrate, I posted a fun little gif-ful post on School of Doubt, “A First Year as a Professor, in GIFs.” Check it out if you’re into that sort of thing.

For now, I’m re-shifting my focus to deal with summer tasks, which is very different from my semester-long race to make my astronomy classes as cool as possible. I’ll check in soon!

Catching up to 2015

Back when I was writing a bit more regularly, I was posting monthly updates here. Since I haven’t been doing so and have just gotten this site running again, here’s a list of what I’ve been doing (other than teaching and moving and teaching some more) in 2015:



EDIT (10/11): Oooo I almost forgot. I was recently a guest on a couple of podcasts, both recorded at Dragon*Con 2015. Here is a short interview with Richard Drumm for 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast, and I get to ask the artists a question on Mad Art Cast!

Just recently we got our first ever family photo. Both furry mammals in the same frame without them freaking out!


More to come very soon…

Was hacked, but now I’m back!

Hello, everyone. So this site has been lying dormant for quite some time. As you may know, I finished up my postdoc in Illinois, spent some time in New York, and finally made it to New Hampshire where I’m now a professor! And I’ve been so busy that unfortunately, I couldn’t get to my site which was, it turned out, used by hackers to do who-knows-what. I got some great help from Dreamhost and now I’m back, though with a slightly slimmed down site with less bells and whistles, and hopefully hack free!

I look forward to getting back to writing in general, though my life right now seems to be wake up, crossfit, walk dog, work work work, sleep, wake up, crossfit, walk dog, work work work… etc. At some point I’ll catch up maybe?

Please keep in touch via Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus for now!

(Updated 10/12/15 with featured image CC BY-SA 2.0 Jennie)

Winter Wrap-Up

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Fall Semester Rolls on…

Say hello to NoisyDog!
Say hello to NoisyDog!

Well it’s a little over halfway through the Fall semester, and I’m hanging in there with class, work projects, and lots and lots of job application. Yes, that’s right, it’s #willastronomfornoms time again! Much love to everyone who’s been forwarding me interesting job applications and helping with letters and references and all that jazz. Oh, I even got to be co-PI on an NSF proposal that was recently submitted.

OH AND I GOT A DOGGIE! She’s been dominating my Instagram feed and has her own Facebook page if you’d like to see.

Here’s been my work on the internet in the past two months. Favorites are bolded:


A while back, I also wrote this piece for the Daily Beast and have forgotten to link to it until now. D’oh! Check out, About That ‘World-Ending Solar Storm… from July.


There were also some acts of whimsy that I still have mixed feelings about…

That’s all for now!