Wednesday, July 6, 2016

New Jobs, New City, New Adventures!

I've been mum on my life's happenings recently. Now that it's all settled, I'm going to share with you what's going on. Comments and suggestions welcome!

STEM & Social Media Outreach

As someone guilty of taking on too much at once, I'm pleased to have I wrapped up two projects. At the start of June, my favorite conference returned from a three-year hiatus: the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference. I ran social media for the conference activities. I wish it wasn't over because I had a blast, but I'll be back next year.

I spent some time assisting Benignant STEM Innovation Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to educating students, especially girls, in developing countries and underserved areas. So inspirational! There are many potential opportunities for grants, fundraising, partnerships, collaborations, and projects for a new STEM nonprofit. The process can be daunting. I helped to point them on the right path.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

I've been searching for a new space organization “home” for a few years now. When I attended the CSF spring members meeting last year, I felt it! But my former employer's membership dissolved along with its existence. I didn't let that stop me! I'm excited to be working with CSF again in whatever small ways I can. Right now I'm helping them identify sponsors and prepare for an upcoming FAA AST conference.

New Client

Starting Monday, I'll be an analyst for a new client. I love how global this company is, with colleagues around the world providing different perspectives. My first project will be a cool (and hot!) topic to start with! I'll write up a more detailed blog entry once I start work.


One of my biggest professional mistakes this year has been relying on others to conduct science. As a result, I waited and waited, and still haven't gotten my hands dirty. Either projects were delayed or I simply wasn't included. This is a poor way to do science collaboration. I decided to take matters into my own hands. I finally allowed myself time to brainstorm science recently, and an idea came to me.

How I wish I could tell you about the proposal I'm writing via Astralytical! I read an article explaining that science bloggers are hesitant to write about their unpublished work because they fear being scooped. I can tell you that's true. It's related to my expertise in planetary regolith and it touches upon human space habitation in a way I haven't seen before. I still need to complete a literature review to put this experiment in context. I may reach out to potential collaborators, but on my own terms.

Book Writing

I wrapped up the millennial panel interview process last month! But Adventures in Book Writing is on hold for now because I'm crazy busy and there's no deadline. Sorry! I'll get back to it by the end of the summer for sure.

Ohio, Here I Come

Coincidentally, my husband has been going through a job search as well. He just accepted a position at JP Morgan Chase in Columbus, Ohio. I've never even been to Ohio, but I grew up in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, so I'm familiar with four seasons. We'll be moving within the month.

This is so bittersweet for me. I love Florida! I love living in this area so much that I moved here for undergrad, moved away to Huntsville, then moved back. I love the warm weather and the lack of snow and “real” winters. I love the beach, the water, the greenery, and the wildlife. I love the rocket launches and the space happenings. I love my friends and close-by family. I love the space community I've built here. It's going to be very hard for me to leave!

Glenn Research Center is one of the few NASA centers I've never been to, and it's only two hours from Columbus. Ohio State University is gigantic and has not only a physics department, but also an astronomy department, a cosmology & astroparticle department, and a planetarium, so I may find like-minded researchers and enthusiasts there. Ohio Aerospace Institute seems to be a smaller equivalent to Space Florida. I'll find my space peeps in Ohio, somewhere.


  1. Good luck in Ohio! Like you mentioned, there's still many space-related areas of interest up there, so there should be something that'll pique your interest and get you involved! Maybe you could be a mentor to someone up there!

    1. Thanks! Mentoring is a great idea. I'm hoping to find my place up there.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! Please do message me so I know who you are. Maybe we can meet!

    2. Oh ha, I just had to click on "Unknown" and it told me who you are. ;) Yes, I would definitely like to meet you in person someday!

  3. Laura, welcome to Ohio! Ironic that I've been working on a permanent move to the Space Coast and you move up here! Well, anyway, NASA Glenn has got some good things going on, and don't forget about the Ohio Aerospace Institute (HQ in Cleveland with offices in Columbus and Dayton). Although we don't yet have Spaceport Cleveland launching from the Rock Hall out over Lake Erie, who knows? ;-) But welcome again, and I'll be sure to let you know if anything interesting happens up here. And if you haven't been the Air Force Museum at WPAF in Dayon, it'll blow your space geek mind! Cheers! -Eric B.

    1. Thanks Eric! I had forgotten that you lived up there. Want to buy a house on the Space Coast? ;) I'll be sure to check out the Air Force Museum and meet up with some folks at OAI. If you can do an introduction, let me know.