What did you major in during college?
I went to Elon University for undergrad and double majored in Biology and Environmental Studies. I then went to Old Dominion University for my Master’s degree in Biology.
Can you tell us more about what you do for your job?
I am the Regional Science Coordination Lead for the Eastern and Southern Africa hub at the NASA SERVIR Science Coordination Office. I have a lot of different roles and responsibilities which is part of what makes my job so fun and exciting; every day is different. The Science Coordination Office works to provide scientific and technical backstopping to our hubs in the four thematic areas we focus: Land Cover, Land Use Change and Ecosystems, Water and Water Related Disasters, Weather and Climate, and Food Security and Agriculture. Right now, one of my main focus areas is working with the Eastern and Southern Africa Hub to run high resolution weather models over a part of Western Kenya to forecast frost occurrences on tea farms. We hope that this service will support the small scale local tea farmers to protect their crops in case of a predicted frost.
What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is the time difference! It can be difficult to work on teams internationally, sometimes it means late nights or early mornings, but it’s worth it. My job is incredibly rewarding so this question is difficult, but I would say the most rewarding part of my job is the people I work with. I have amazing coworkers all over the world who inspire me every day.
What is your favorite thing about technology and coding?
My favorite thing about technology is that it is constantly changing and becoming more accessible. I taught myself how to code through online tutorials and help forums and I see more and more of that happening. Open source languages and programs are allowing for a new wave of technology users.
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I play tennis and enjoy hiking and listening to podcasts.
What advice would you give to high school girls who are interested in computer science?
High school girls who are interested in computer science have amazing opportunities at their fingertips. There are more resources than ever available online. Take advantage of every opportunity you can find, whether that’s through in person opportunities through your school, local community college, or other local groups, or through virtual options!