Personal

Outreach:

Public outreach is an important part of my work as a scientist.  If I can't excite the public about my research, then I'm not doing my job right.  I frequently give public presentations on the topic of astrobiology and exoplanets (e.g., through the Science on Tap program), and I've spoken to Seattle-area middle school and high school students about exoplanetary science.  Here is a video of a talk that I gave at a Tacoma pub on exoplanets, which was recorded for KCTS 9, a local PBS station.  A similar presentation that I gave at Nerd Nite Seattle is here.

My favorite outreach work is as a volunteer Science Communication Fellow
at the Pacific Science Center.  As part of this fellowship, a colleague and I developed a hands-on activity that allows us to teach kids and adults about spectroscopy and planetary atmospheres.  Check out this video about the NSF-funded Portal to the Public program that I participated in (some of the footage includes me working with kids in the Science Center, and an interview I did that discusses the program).  The gallery below shows some pictures of me interacting with visitors at the Center.

In fact, I'm such a fan of engaging with the public, that I've taught a class on the topic!  In this course, grad students learned about the effective communication of science to the public and, then, put theory into practice by giving public presentations at Seattle Town Hall as part of the Engage Program.  Here is a story about the program that appeared in the Seattle Times.



Coffee:

My time in Seattle has transformed me into a coffee enthusiast (addict).  I own an espresso machine, and am constantly working to perfect my skills as a closet barista. My home is filled with various coffee-related gizmos, including my (futuristically-named) Behmor 1600 that I use to roast my own coffee beans.