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!