Director of UM Autonomous Aerial Systems Office
Assistant Director of Montana Space Grant Consortium
Field: Physics of flying machines
"I knew I wanted to be in science when I was in 8th grade working on my first science fair project: a motorized go-cart."
In high school, I had the opportunity to take an astronomy course to learn about space and spend time in an observatory using a telescope to observe stars and galaxies - an experience that greatly solidified my interest in physics. I studied physics in college and I use that in my current job, where I fly high altitude balloons, manned aircraft, and unmanned aerial systems like drones.
The best part about my job is helping University of Montana students and faculty use aircraft to ask research questions and collect data. The hardest part about my job is explaining all the flight regulations we have to follow. I particularly enjoy field measurement campaigns where we see all our days of long preparations result in data that has an impact on our lives. I try to regularly remind myself the play is also an important component of our workday. I enjoy skiing or hiking on my own time and training on the flight simulator at work!