What do you do?
I map wildfires and forests using satellite images.
Why did you choose this field?
I became interested in using remote sensing to examine wildfires in my Ph.D. for two main reasons. First, I grew up with a grandfather who was an Air Force pilot and he had photographs taken from his cockpit hanging on the walls. It made me love seeing the world from a bird's-eye-view. In undergrad, my remote sensing class was the first to combine this perspective of the world with science. In terms of wildfires, I grew up going to a camp in northern New Hampshire that was called "Pine Mountain" but only had two pine trees left on the mountain because of a fire in the early 20th century that cleared off the mountain. I always thought of fire as being an issue out west but was intrigued to learn more about fires.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
I never knew that a PhD and science was a career path for me until I went to university, so there are many things that I would have been in awe of as a child! For example, I have met so amazing people and close friends from around the world through the organization that I help lead, Ladies of Landsat. Also, my research was also recently featured on my university's home page. I don't think that my undergraduate self could have imagined that would ever happen when I was struggling to finish each semester!
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love synthesizing ideas and finding patterns between fields and domains, and that's why I love to write and combine ideas between different fields.
Best advice for next generation?
You deserve to be here! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead