• IPAC

June 2015 updates via Ms. Piper

Published: June 22, 2015

Ms. Piper relayed the following exciting news from one of her students who participated in NITARP with her. This is the second known NITARP-inspired physical sciences PhD. 

I just graduated from undergrad a month ago from Augustana College in Rock Island. I don't know if you remember, but I went there wanting to be a vet. But then when I got more vet experience, I decided I didn't want to do that for the rest of my life... Which then led to an identity crisis because I had always planned on being a vet! I knew I wanted to stick with the biology side of things, so I tried to think of other interests I had. Then I thought of the stuff we did with NITARP, so I mixed astronomy with biology and got astrobiology! I ended up majoring in biology, geology, and Spanish since my school didn't have an astronomy major and I needed a biological and physical science to go anywhere with astrobiology.

Which leads to where I'm going now! I applied to grad schools that had astrobiological affiliations and ended up choosing Arizona State University. My program is a Geosciences PhD within the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and my research group specializes in geobiology, biogeochemistry, and astrobiology, which is right up my alley! I start my first semester at the beginning of August, and I have a TA position as well.

I felt like I should tell you about my current trajectory because without you and our work with NITARP, I don't know where I'd be headed right now!


The 2025 NITARP application is now available! Go here for the instructions. Applications are due by 3pm Pacific time, Friday Sep 13, 2024. (NOTE: contingent on availability of funds and AAS travel!)