I grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota and attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison where I received my B.S. triple majoring in Astronomy, Philosophy, and Physics. Originally planning to pursue an life as an astronomer, I worked in the astronomy department with Dr. Eric Wilcots and Kelley Hess on research project to directly measure the amount of energy that is currently being injected into the intragroup medium by star formation processes and the amount of energy that has been injected by individual AGN over the last 100-200 Myr. As an undergraduate researcher, I obtained on-site and remote observational experience with the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico through assisting with the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA Survey (ALFALFA), as well as on-site observational experience with the WIYN 0.9m telescope at Kitt Peak, AZ. As is the case for undergrads, most of my time was spent figuring out data reduction using AIPS and IRAF. While at UW-Madison, I was also involved with campus’ music journalism scene as a writer, photographer, and radio hour host for the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD)’s Emmie Magazine.
After undergrad, I moved to Arlington, Virginia. From July 2009 – July 2011 I worked for National Science Foundation as a science assistant in the Social and Economic Sciences (SES) division for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate. I worked in the MMSTS cluster for the Ethics Education in Science and Engineering (EESE) program, Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics (MMS) program, and Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program. As a Science Assistant, I assisted with all aspects of grant proposal processing, preparing numerous reports for the Foundation, and outcome reports for the public and United States Congress.
After my term at NSF was finished, I started graduate school. I completed the 1-year MA program in the philosophy department at the University of Western Ontario in 2012. My MA thesis was on underdetermination in cosmology (and the case of dark energy), supervised by Dr. Chris Smeenk. I stayed at Western for my PhD. My dissertation focused on examining properties models should possess in order to justify scientific inferences made from them. I examine earlier philosophical accounts of how to assess and evaluate models, criticize them failing to distinguish different dimensions along which models should be evaluated, and propose a new framework for evaluating models. I then apply this framework to several case studies from astrophysics. More information on my research can be found here.
While at Western, I was a member of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy. Through the Rotman Institute, I worked with other graduate students to establish a K-12 philosophy outreach program. Our program involves working with K-12 students though activities designed and run by graduate students, developing strategies that promote HPS teaching in the classroom. I also worked in Western’s Teaching Support Centre as a TA Training Program Instructor.
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Philosophy Department at the University of Pennsylvania working with Dr. Michael Weisberg and astrophysicist Dr. Barry Madore (The Carnegie Observatories) on an NSF-funded project Observing the Invisible: A Collaborative Investigation between Astrophysicists and Philosophers (Award No.1557138). I also work in the Penn Laboratory for Understanding Science (PLUS), which focuses on adults’ understanding of science and creates interventions meant to increase understanding.
Other than philosophy, astronomy, and physics—I tend to occupy my time with photography, reading, cooking, and listening to music. I also love traveling when time (but mostly funds) permit.