What do you do?
Develop plans for exploring the moon. This includes conducting geology field work, building and testing tools and systems for future human exploration, training astronauts in geological field work, and working with other scientists and engineers who are developing systems and facilities.
Why did you choose this field?
I started as a geologist and oceanographer - I always loved understanding how the physical world fit together, and the interdisciplinary aspect of oceanography. And, I have always loved field work - both above and below the water. It was an easy segue for me to work at NASA, after applying to be an astronaut but being asked to come work at NASA as a scientist instead. Planetary science is also really interdisciplinary. I love the hands-on operational aspects of planetary science support: working with hardware and figuring out operational concepts to enable future exploration.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Working on programs that involved working across boundaries of science-engineering-communications and policy.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love the curiosity-driven work to understand how a planet works. Being a very tiny part of looking at big questions: why are we here? How did we get here?
Best advice for next generation?
You can do anything! Network. Learn to code. Don't be afraid of breaking things to figure out how they work. Be proud!
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
The truth will set you free. A biblical quote that applies to all kinds of situations.