Every summer during my childhood, my family and I would travel to a small lake in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, far from the glow of city lights. At night, I would lie at the end of the pier and gaze up at the crystal-clear sky above me. The band of the Milky Way stretched across my view, and occasional meteors streaked overhead.
As my fascination with observational astronomy grew, the Hubble Space Telescope began capturing incredible portraits of the universe. I pored over the fine details of these images.
Both of these experiences cemented my love for astronomy. Because you need physics to understand space, I decided that I would study the science to learn about the beauty in the cosmos around us. The laws of physics — discovered and researched on Earth — describe the colors, shapes, and patterns found across the universe.
At Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, I studied physics, earning my bachelor’s degree in the science in 2004. Along the way, I also realized how much I use both sides of my brain. When I wasn’t calculating the induced electromotive force or detecting particles created as cosmic rays slam into Earth’s atmosphere, I was leading my college’s modern dance group, singing in choir (as a soprano II, if you’re curious), and writing poetry.
I spent one year in graduate school for astrophysics (at Iowa State University in Ames), but decided to leave academia to write about astronomy, space, and physics and to tell the stories of our beautiful universe. I’ve never looked back.
During more than seven years at Astronomy, I pitched, wrote, and edited feature science articles, which included checking and correcting factual content, grammar, and readability in addition to developing a comprehensive graphics package for each article. I worked closely with the Art Department to ensure the full article — including any illustrations, other graphics, or sidebar content — properly conveyed the story.
I managed Astronomy’s first all-digital product, Cosmic Origins (released March 5, 2014), as Editor and oversaw all interactive content and functionality. Cosmic Origins is a tablet app for either Apple or Android devices and is an Eddie Digital (App) honorable mention. I was also in charge of the magazine’s “Astro News” department where I wrote hundreds of news stories.
When not working on print or digital articles, I wrote scripts and presented information for online explanatory astronomy videos and also co-developed an online video series to showcase the fun side of astronomy, “Cosmic Adventures."
In addition to my experiences at Astronomy, I worked as a technical writer for the software and hardware company National Instruments. There, I wrote and edited radio frequency product manuals, specifications documents, and online help files for grammar, technical accuracy, and consistency among products.
You can view my full résumé for a more formal version of my biography.