About Me

I am a Presidential Management Fellow on rotation in the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics until mid-August 2019, at which point I will return to finish my fellowship at the Air Force working as a civilian operations research analyst. In 2017, I graduated from Yale University with a PhD in astronomy. My dissertation focused on the study of exoplanets, planets beyond the solar system. As part of my dissertation research, I discovered two planets, PH3 c and Kepler-150 f (see Publications). I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a B.S. in physics and astronomy and a minor in Latin. I was born in Clinton, Iowa, grew up across the Mississippi River in Fulton, Illinois, and after nine years of college and graduate school, I now live in Washington, DC.

See my Résumé/CV for more.

Interests

My main career interest is in policy, specifically science policy. While all of science policy is interesting, the hot-button issues naturally fuel my passion.

  • Climate change is happening. It's caused by humans. We need to mitigate it. The United States needs to rejoin the Paris Agreement and then go much further, along with the rest of the world, to prevent irreparable harm from increasing temperatures and more extreme weather.

  • Nuclear power is a powerful energy source as we transition to more renewable energy.

  • Vaccines are possibly the most important medical advancement in history. A select number of vaccines should be mandatory with only a medical exemption.

  • Genetic engineering of crops and food is safe and often times better for the environment. Mandatory labeling is unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.

  • Evolution from single-celled organisms over the 4.5 billion year history of Earth are how humans came to be.

Science may not always give us the truth, but it's the best method to try, and it's always improving.

Other interests include:

  • Politics: This is what I'm really passionate about. Politics are how you change the world, and a lot of it needs changing.

  • Astronomy, and in particular, exoplanets: I could not have received my PhD in astronomy if I didn't like astronomy.

  • Science: It's the greatest tool in the world from distinguishing truth from mere opinion. If you're arguing against the scientific consensus, you're (almost always) going to have a bad time.

  • International affairs: While I don't have time to keep as up-to-date as I wish on international affairs, I try to be aware of major (and some minor) happenings from around the world.

  • Election polling and statistics: I'm definitely a poll junkie. I think one of the most important (and underappreciated) issues of our time is America’s unfair and unequal voting system.

  • Genetic engineering: As previously mentioned, the genetic engineering of crops and food is safe and has been environmentally friendly. Genetic engineering could usher in a new agricultural revolution.

  • Movies: I have a spreadsheet of every movie I have ever seen (more than 1,200 and counting) and have rated every single one of them. I'm a bit of a movie junkie. The Mummy and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World are currently the only two movies with a perfect 10.0. Birdemic: Shock and Terror predictably scores the lowest at a 0.1.

  • TV shows: While I haven't seen nearly as many TV shows, I also track the TV series I've watched. Scrubs is the only perfect 10.0, but Game of Thrones is close behind.

  • Board games and card games: Great for a night in with friends.

  • Sports, and in particular, college football: Go Hawkeyes!