Education2016: Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, Physics, specializing in instrumentation and spectroscopic observations of galaxies in compact groups.
2008: M.S., San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, Physics, specializing in 2-D Sersic profile fitting of SDSS galaxies.
2004: B.S., Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, Physics
Doctoral ThesisStar Formation Histories of Southern Compact Groups
Advisor: Gerald Cecil, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Physics and Astronomy Dept.
Commissioned a robotic fiber bundle positioner for the Goodman Spectrograph on the SOAR Telescope to study the stellar populations and star formation activity in the central regions of galaxies in Southern Compact Groups (SCGs). Hardware issues rendered the device unusable for my specific science goals, so currently using recently added multi-object capabilities on Goodman to study the SCGs.
Masters ThesisThe Sloan Nearby Galaxies Catalog: Photometric and Structural Properties of Early-Type Galaxies
Advisor: Ron Marzke, San Francisco State University, Physics and Astronomy Dept.
Fit two dimensional Sersic surface brightness profiles to large, early-type Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies that were "shredded" (had multiple magnitude measurements for a single galaxy).
Undergraduate ResearchCharacteristics of Intermediate Velocity Clouds
Advisor: Rosemary McNaughton, Dickinson College, Physics and Astronomy Dept.
Determined the distances to Intermediate Velocity Clouds in the Milky Way and determined their in-fall velocities.
Light Curves of δ-Scuti Star CCAnd
Advisor: Robert Boyle, Dickinson College, Physics and Astronomy Dept.
Took photometric observations of δ-Scuti star CCAnd, a variable star, in order to create light curves and determine the periodicity of the variability.
When lots of galaxies get close to each other, the gas used to make new stars gets removed. I'm trying to figure out how that gas is removed and where it goes.
Fiber optic cables aren't just for delivering the internet to your home. You can also use them to get spectra of many separate regions of a galaxy!
How far out do the stars in NGC7793 go?
The SDSS doesn't process huge galaxies well. So I tried to do it better!
There are clouds of gas raining down onto our galaxy.
Lots of stars show periodic changes in their brightness. This is just one of them.
Observing ExperienceFall 2017: 0.4m PROMPT array, Cerro Tololo, Chile, Used array for teaching my PHYS100 course at West Chester University
2014-2015: 4m SOAR Telescope, Cerro Pachon, Chile, MOS Goodman Spectrograph, Used the multi-slit capabilities of the Goodman Spectrograph to obtain spectra of Southern Compact Groups.
2013-2014: 4m SOAR Telescope, Cerro Pachon, Chile, Goodman Spectrograph, Commissioned and tested a robotic fiber bundle positioner.
Jul 2013: 21ft Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank, WV, Observed the planets using the 21 foot dish connected to the Skynet network of telescopes.
Jul 2012: 40ft Green Bank Observatory, Green Bank, WV, Observed the Moon for undergraduate projects.
2012-2016: 0.4m PROMPT array, Cerro Tololo, Chile, Used array for teaching introductory astronomy labs and mentoring undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Mar 2010: 4m SOAR Telescope, Cerro Pachon, Chile, SOAR Optical Imager, Deep imaging of the outer optical disk of NGC 7793.
Feb 2008: 0.9m WIYN, Kitt Peak Observatory, Tucson, AZ, Looking for tidal tails in interacting galaxies using the MOSAIC imager.
2003-2004: 24in Britton Observatory, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, Observed variable stars for thesis projects.
Oct 2001: 0.9m NURO, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ, Observed variable stars.