Saturday, August 29, 2009

Allow me to introduce myself

Hello! My name is Alyssa, and I have been blogging here for almost a year. Here I am at the top of Machu Picchu (yes, I am awfully proud of that):

I just finished my PhD (July, 2009), which focused on searching for objects called main-belt comets (objects that are in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but display cometary activity), and studying gas and dust production from active comets. I am currently working as a post-doc with my PhD supervisor, and will be continuing my work on main-belt comets, as well as helping with other projects.

During my graduate career I was also very involved in science outreach. I was the coordinator of the Let's Talk Science Partnership Program for six years. I also developed and coordinated a new astronomy outreach program called Exploring the Stars.

Right now I'm trying to decide what career path I will take. I'm very interested in continuing in science/astronomy outreach, but am also keen to delve into teaching, technical writing, and/or science education research.

Besides work, I enjoy a wide variety of hobbies. One of my favorite things to do is read, and I've made a concerted effort to fit it into my schedule the past couple of years. I have also taken up knitting this year and absolutely love it. Other stuff I like to do is golf, play soccer (football), go to the gym, travel when I can, nap, bake, and probably spend too much time in front of the TV or on the internet. I also like to collect jewelry, especially rings.

I have a wonderful husband (who I will still refer to as DH), and we have been married for almost a year. We have two cats (Isaac and Isabella), and currently live in London, Ontario. DH is currently looking for a new job, so we are not sure when/if we will move or where. We are hoping to start a family in the near future, and do other grown-up stuff like buying a house and filling it with non-student furniture.

When I started this blog I wasn't sure what I was going to write about. But, after reading some (now favorite) science blogs (see the lists to the right) and becoming part of the community, I feel I have found my voice in sharing the highs and lows of graduate school (and now post-doc life). At first I wanted to blog pseudonymously, but after about a year I have decided to out myself and write under my own name. This blog will continue to evolve as my life does - the format, background, title, or topics may change, but I assure you the person will not (much!).

Welcome to the new blog. I hope it's as enjoyable for you to read as it is for me to write!