Meet the Scientist
Education and Public Outreach Program Coordinator at Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, Western University
What scientific field do you work in?
Space Science and Technology/Astronomy
"I would like to run a private space company for a day!"
Could you briefly explain what your job involves?
I manage the Education and Public Outreach Program. This entails developing new space-themed activities, leading and delivering workshops, organize public events as well as talking to students and members of public about space science and technology. I also co-produce a podcast as part of my job and on occasion, I also speak to media regarding current news topics in space.
Do you have any secret talents?
I used to be a roller speed skater in high school as well as write poetry during undergraduate school.
When did you decide you wanted to work as a scientist?
I was always curious about my surroundings. I got interested in Astronomy when my parents took me to a planetarium for one of our annual vacations. This was followed by a gift of books and telescope. The moment I saw the moon, Jupiter and Saturn through my telescope, I knew that is what I would do for a living.
Have you taken part in any research? If yes, what was your most exciting project?
Yes! For my Bachelors, Masters and PhD, I had exciting different topics I got to work on. I think my PhD thesis has been the most exciting project.
What's your favourite food?
I absolutely love Indian food.
What educational pathway did you take to get to where you are now?
I took Physics and Astronomy in my undergraduate degree and continued to pursue Astronomy in my MSc and PhD while minoring in Planetary Science and Exploration. During my graduate studies, I got involved in the outreach program and really enjoyed every aspect of it. My degrees gave me the background while my training during graduate studies formed the basis for my position today.
If you could be anyone in the world for 24 hours, who would you be and why?
Elon Musk or Richard Branson. I would like to run a private space company for a day!
What was the best thing about your job?
I get to interact with students as well as members of public and share my passion and excitement about space science and technology on an everyday basis.
"The moment I saw the moon, Jupiter and Saturn through my telescope, I knew that is what I would do for a living."
What was the worst thing about your job?
Part of my job involves working a lot of logistics for the events – I particularly dislike doing budgets and making schedules for my staff.
If you could take one thing with you to an island, what would it be and why?
My camera! I love taking pictures of the night sky, the island will be a perfect place to be with my camera.
Do you have any advice for young people who are interested in your career path?
Stay curious, be ready to explore and diversify! Enjoy the process and journey, you never know what will peak your interest.
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