2014-Present: Research Scientist NOAA via University of Colorado’s CIRES
2012-2014: Postdoctoral Researcher at NOAA
2012: Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, San Diego
2009: M.S. in Chemistry from University of California, San Diego
2007: B.A.S in Chemistry from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
My research interests have focused on understanding aerosol composition and sources, with particular emphasis on aerosols which serve as seeds for cloud particle formation (i.e., aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions). I am very active and love to be outside hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, cycling, running, and climbing. I also enjoy all the craft beer Colorado has to offer. I am engaged to my amazing fiancé, Nick. We live in Denver and have a pet chinchilla named Biggie Smalls.
How I became a scientist
As early as I can remember, I was fascinated with how the world worked, scientifically speaking. I was one of those kids that wanted that toy chemistry set over a Barbie and liked playing with batteries, wires, and light bulbs to create my own circuits. I became interested in medicine during the end of high school and was premed during my first couple years of college. However, after discovering my ability to problem solve…and getting a C+ in physiology, I realized that I wanted to become a research scientist instead of a doctor. Luckily, I was majoring in chemistry and developed a strong interest in environmental chemistry. I found my niche in graduate school where I studied atmospheric chemistry, focusing on the types of aerosols that impact cloud and precipitation formation, which is what I do to this day.
How my work benefits society
My research has been a key component to understanding the multiple facets that impact water supply in California. I evaluate the sources of aerosols that impact precipitation formation, and thus the water that is supplied to the reservoirs in CA. This work is published in multiple journals, including Science. A new avenue I am pursing is researching aerosol-cloud interactions in the Arctic, which has implications for sea ice formation and dissipation. This focus is important not only for local Arctic communities and ecosystems, but also in regards to sea ice extent impacts on global circulation and climate change.