PhD, Physics (Astronomy), University of Wyoming: 2012
Master of Science, Physics (Astronomy), University of Wyoming: 2009
Bachelor of Science, Astronomy-Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison: 2007
I currently am working as a postdoc with Adam Myers
. I am continuing my own research on BAL quasars,
and exploring the nature of their differences from normal quasars. Once the true demographics and geometry of BAL outflows is better understood,
I plan to extend more work to explore their role in quasar and galaxy evolution. Additionally, I will soon be spending a lot of time at
, conducting a deep u-band survey of quasars accross ~1500 square degrees of the northern sky.
I will also be working on various quasar clustering measurements as a probe of fundamental cosmological parameters and the evolution of the Universe.
My graduate career was spent here at Wyoming as well (somewhat untradtional, I know), working with Mike Brotherton
AGN/quasar research group
. I worked specifically on optical polarization,
optical spectra, and radio properties of broad absorption line (BAL) quasars. My thesis project focused on investigating why some quasars
exibit BALs but others do not. The main result was that BAL outflows are not only seen in quasars with a preferred orientation, and it is likely a
combination of orientation, evolution, and other factors that determine whether a given quasar will exhibit BALs. My project utilized data
from the Keck Telescope, the VLT, and the VLA/EVLA, and was supported by the Wyoming NASA space grant consortium, the NSF, the AAS, and NRAO.
My first expreciences with research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate were with Bob Mathieu and the WOCS
group. Most of my work was with spectral data from the WIYN 3.5m
and the HYDRA multi-object spectrograph used to make radial velocity measurements of open
clusters. These data are used to determine cluster members as well as identify binary stars and fit them with orbital
thesis focused on a particular binary in the open cluster NGC 6819 which we believe is the product of a dynamical encounter. Using a
computer program I modeled binary-single star interactions to investigate possible formation scenarios of that binary.
Here are links to some of my publications:
The Viewing Angles of Broad Absorption Line Versus Unabsorbed Quasars
A Very Large Array Survey of Radio-selected SDSS Broad Absorption Line Quasars
Very Large Telescope Spectropolarimetry of Broad Absorption Line QSOs
Spectropolarimetry of Radio-Selected Broad Absorption Line Quasars
I am not currently teaching, though I often miss doing it. To me, teaching is equally as important as my research. Since starting at Wyoming, I have run several labs and discussion sections for Astronomy 1050, Physics 1050, Physics 1220, and Physics 1210 during various semesters. I was also the full-time instructor (both lectures and labs) for the summer session of Astronomy 1050 in 2010. I try to remain as active in public outreach activities as I can as well.
I am originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago (Glendale Heights), and lived in Madison, Wisconsin for
four years while doing my undergraduate work. My other main interest
besides astronomy is music. I've played guitar since I was 8 years old,
and also play the bass, banjo (a little), and
any type of hand drum. I've amassed quite an instrument collection and am always looking to play new things. I mostly play blues, folk, and
bluegrass, but also dabble in electronic music as well.