In The Classroom
Bridging the gap between human beings and the environment was a concept I had first learned as a child while hiking in the National Parks and completing the Junior Ranger program. It was something that I further practiced in my history and environmental studies coursework at Gettysburg College.
While I originally believed that my history and classics double major greatly juxtaposed with my environmental studies minor, the coursework in environmental humanities during sophomore year demonstrated to me how my interests complemented each other. I applied interdisciplinary lenses such as history and philosophy to learn about how humans perceive and communicate about nature to others. This coursework inspired me to think about my surroundings in a different way, and allowed me to write about scientific topics in an accessible manner.
Summer 2018: Communicating Science at NASA
As a communications intern for the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, I took scientists’ research and translated it into an accessible and engaging manner for a general audience. I enjoyed being able to take technical information and transform it in a way so that everyone could understand it.
Fall 2018-Spring 2019: Telling Stories
My time at NASA confirmed for me that the field of communication was right for me, and introduced me to the field of science communication.
Wanting to continue writing and telling stories, I accumulated as much experience in the field of communications as I could by interning in Gettysburg College’s Office of Communications and Marketing and enrolling in coursework (like an individual study focused on science journalism) that supported my interests.
Summer 2019: History of space exploration
I returned to NASA Goddard in summer 2019 as the history intern for the Hubble Space Telescope team. During my time with the team, I digitized and created metadata for hundreds of photos which were taken during the development of the telescope, updated The Hubble Story page on NASA’s website, and researched the process of nominating a property to become a National Historic Landmark.
One of my favorite tasks I completed over summer was interviewing members of the Hubble team. The audio files and transcripts are now saved with other oral history interviews at NASA Goddard.
Fall 2019: Space Policy & International Affairs
One of the podcast I listened to over the summer was Planetary Radio, which produces a monthly space policy episode. While I had heard the term ‘space policy’ be thrown around occasionally at NASA, I still wasn’t sure what that exactly meant. I found myself wanting to learn more and applied to intern at NASA HQ in the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR).
During my time within OIIR, I tackled a variety of projects including: preparing for the 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), drafting extensions of international agreements and diplomatic notes, researching and compiling information on international space organizations, creating an organizational system for joint statements, and developing criteria in order to create a Worldwide Aeronautics and Space Organizations list.
Spring 2020: Returning to NASA Goddard
At the invitation of my summer 2018 mentor, I returned to intern with the Astrophysics Science Division communications team. This time, I undertook the responsibility of creating products for NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. The satellite celebrated its 15th years of multiwavelength science.
I worked with members of the Swift team and communications team in order to produce a science feature for NASA.gov and a post for NASA’s Tumblr. I also worked with a video producer for the creation of A Day in the Life of a NASA Satellite Team – which takes the viewer through a 24 hour journey of Swift.
Besides working on Swift related products, I also gained exposure to an internal side of communications and planning. Using past frameworks, I drafted an appendix for a specific upcoming mission which outlined products that the communications team could create and a suggested timeline.
Summer 2020: Studying Sargassum with NASA’s Earth Science Division
For the duration of summer 2020, I virtually served as an intern for the Earth Science Division’s Disasters and Ocean Biology & Biogeochemistry team. Applying my communications coursework and skillset, I investigated the environmental, socio-economic, cultural and other types of impact sargassum has within the Caribbean region.
Working with another student who specialized in geographic information systems and mapping, we collaborated to tell a visual story of sargassum. We presented our findings to members of the Earth Science Division and wrote our findings in a report for leadership.
Fall 2020-spring 2021
In October 2020, I joined the communications team at The Pew Charitable Trusts. In this role, I promoted the ongoing work of the health and science projects by identifying communication-related opportunities to improve awareness and messaging—from participating in communications brainstorming sessions and writing content for the website, to drafting talking points for leadership and managing spokespersons social media.
My love for and curiosity about space has continued to be a presence in my life. In my spare time, I serve as a public relations and communications team member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC). In March 2021, I became the co-lead of the SGAC’s quarterly newsletter and other email communications.
In June 2021, I joined the content team at The Aerospace Corporation. In this role, I showcase the innovative work that Aerospace does within the field. This includes staying up to date on the latest ongoings, interviewing scientists and engineers, and weaving a variety of technical topics into engaging stories for a non-technical external audience.
Along with continuing to volunteer with SGAC, I joined the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) as a digital content specialist, helping promote the nonprofit’s mission and the opportunities available to students and young professionals.