I have been a graduate student working at STScI for the past 1 1/2 years. I am studying large-scale, galactic outflows in spiral galaxies, specifically those in galaxies with active galactic nuclei. These galaxies are called Seyfert galaxies. My goal is to find out whether the outflows are caused by powerful nuclear explosions from supernovae or from the active nucleus.
I knew I wanted to do research in astrophysics after I took my first class in astronomy. My background is in physics and I was very excited when I found out that I could apply all of the physics I had learned toward learning about all of the interesting things far away in our Universe.
The best thing about my job is that I am constantly learning about new things. What I like least about it is that it is very competitive and sometimes it is very hard to introduce new ideas you have thought of, get others to recognize your work, or even find a good job!
As a kid, I used to be very interested in figuring out how things work. I used to take apart clocks and electronic devices to see how they work. Usually I got them back together OK, but sometimes I didn't. I liked mathematics very much. It took me until high school to realize that learning how to express one's self is really very important and I then discovered a passion for writing.
I always thought my high school physics teacher was kind of strange, but he introduced me to physics and astronomy in such a way that I was always thinking about WHY things were happening the way they were. This curiosity continued all through my schooling and there were many people along the way who inspired me to continue.
A little bit about me: I have ten brothers and sisters, most of them younger than me. The youngest one is in high school now and four are in college. I like to program computers, but I don't have enough time to do much of that anymore. I also like to spend time outdoors, hiking or riding my bicycle at lightning speeds around the monuments in Washington DC. I also play racquetball and squash and I like to cook with my Wok and watch movies on the weekends. I also like to listen to comedians when I have enough money to go see one. Sometimes I watch people tell jokes on TV or watch funny TV shows, too.