Searching for Penguins!
Southern Pole


I am currently a Research Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute located at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. My research focuses on telescopic observations of asteroids in our Solar System. See the projects tab for more information on my research.

I started my scientific journey at the California Institute of Technology. I recieved a Bachelor of Science degree in Planetary Science in 2004. While at Caltech, I was the President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for two years and was involved with the Office for Minority Student Education (which is now part of the Center for Diversity). I participated in NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities Program for two years. I led a team of four students who designed, built, and flew (on the KC-135) an experiment called "Sound Propagation in Bubbly Media". I was also awarded a Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to work in the Education and Public Outreach office at JPL for a summer.

After Caltech, I attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I was awarded an MIT Presidential Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Student Fellowship for my research. At MIT I developed a statistical model to connect ordinary chondrite meteorties to their likely Main Belt source regions and started work on spectrophotometry of Koronis family asteroids. I was a teaching assistant for three courses (Physics and Chemistry of the Solar System, Physics and Chemistry of the Terrestrial Planets, and The Solar System). I received an Award for Excellence in Teaching for "The Solar System" by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. I was elected to the boards of the MIT chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Musical Theatre Guild (MTG), and the Association of Student Activities (ASA). I was a co-organizer for the Planetary Internal Colloquium Series (PICS), a seminar series to encourage discussion of research topics being investigated within the department. I served on the organizing committee for the CONVERGE program, a four day graduate student preview weekend dedicated to increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities in graduate programs at MIT and around the country. It was a busy and exciting time! My Ph.D. in Planetary Science was awarded in June 2009.

Observing on Mauna Kea
Adventures in the Atacama Desert, Chile

I moved to Flagstaff, Arizona to take a post-doctoral postion at Northern Arizona University. I was heavily involved in two ground-based observing campaigns in support of the ExploreNEOs Warm Spitzer program to obtain albedos and diameters of approximately 600 near-Earth objects. I led a large component of the spectroscopy observing campaign. I volunteered to lead a Journal Club style seminar for the graduate students in the department for three semesters. I also volunteered in the public program at Lowell Observatory, where I operated the historic Clark 24in. telescope and various portable telescopes for the nighttime public activities. My last volunteer duty was to assist with public observations of the Transit of Venus in June 2012.

I moved to NASA GSFC as a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow (2012-2015). While a postdoc, I served as a Co-President of the NASA Goddard Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (NGAPS) and served on the organizing committee for the Women in Astrophysics roundtable discussions.

I now live in the Washington, D.C. area while working as a Research Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute. I continue to work on various observing projects, including MANOS, and am a collaborator on the OSIRIS-REx asteroid mission. I am a member of the AAS Committee on the Status of Women in Astronomy.

I am a native of Southern California and grew up in the Inland Empire. I have plenty of fond memories of California and look forward to my visits. When I'm not doing science things, I enjoy distance running, photography (including astrophotography), Eclipse chasing, hiking, backpacking, science fiction (Star Wars!), Mexican food, and traveling the world. Moving around the country has given me many great friends spread throughout the country and world!

My sister is awesome