I was raised in a small-ish town in Wisconsin, and I’ve had the astronomy bug for as long as I can remember. After graduating from UW-Madison with degrees in Astrophysics and Physics, with a certificate in East Asian Studies, I moved to Japan for 2 years to teach English in the 田舎 (countryside). Upon returning to the US, I briefly worked again with my undergraduate advisor Jay Gallagher before attending graduate school. I am currently a PhD student in the physics department of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Simply, I study galaxies. Less simply, I am whittling away at the puzzle of star formation in nearby dwarfs. Even less simply, I’m using a multiwavelength data set (VLA HI, Galex UV, Herschel FIR…) to probe these galaxies’ ISM. I’m currently working on three related projects as part of my thesis: a study of the HI line profiles, a comparison of HI properties to [FUV] star formation rates, and tackling H2 from Herschel FIR lines.
During my time at UW-Madison, I studied the kinematics of several galaxies. Most of my time was spent on NGC 1275 (or Perseus A, 3C84, …) – the huge cD galaxy at the heart of the Perseus cluster. Using an IFU optical spectrograph, we measured velocities in several regions of the famous Hα filaments to determine their nature. I used the same data/techniques to look briefly at some starburst galaxies as well.