October Updates

It’s been a VERY long time since I did some updates, so here we go!

I spent a short time at NASA JPL at the end of August, finishing up my project using Cassini imaging to investigate crater relaxation on the icy moons of Saturn. It’s felt momentous leading into the Grand Finale of the mission as well as my doctoral studies, and it was a wonderful time.

The Cassini mission did sadly end on Sept. 15 but I was excited to spend the week tweeting about my work and hopes for the future beyond Cassini from the marvelous scicomm account Real Scientists, alongside several wonderful planetary scientists. Read my intro post here.

September also saw my very brief release of my self-produced album THEY WILL BE FREE: a song cycle. This was a genuine labor of love over the course of a full year, and I was so blessed to work with so many talented and wonderful artists – from musicians to poets – on this work (see the page for the full credits), and to explore electroacoustic and multimedia composition, epic poetry, poetic storytelling, and space science history in developing the album. TWBF really became the culmination of my composition challenge – to write 120 pieces in as many days, before starting graduate school – as well as my deep interest in fusing modern composition and poetry, and I’m proud of the work we’ve produced.

The AAS Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting is next week, and UA’s The Art of Planetary Science initiative will have an exhibition at the conference. I’ll have a song from the album, “Earthling 1,” playing as video! The exhibition is open to the public on Monday, Oct. 16.

Looking Ahead

I’m so excited to be an upcoming guest on the Femmes of STEM Podcast, a wonderful show that discusses women in science. I’ll be discussing my own journey in STEM as well as the astronomer and fellow polymath, Paris Marie Pişmiş. Listen to the Season 2 trailer here!

I spent some of July writing a semi-autobiographical novella called “gone,” which follows a girl on her nightly walks – and subliminal encounters with various forms of Death – in five parts. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this work but it was absolutely thrilling to return to writing fiction after 2-3 years, and I hope to finalize and submit to a few contests.

Last – but not least – I’ve started my Ph.D. in Space & Climate Physics at University College London, with a focus on imaging for Mars. The past year has been non-stop in my creative endeavors and I feel so fulfilled in beginning my doctorate this fall. I’ll be stepping back a bit with my art and writing (besides finalizing DNPT), and definitely reflecting on what I want my art to be in the future, as well as enjoying the wonders of planetary research. x

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