I currently work at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics as a mission systems engineer on proposal and Phase A payload projects. I was previously a scientist and engineer at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder working on MSL RAD and commercial lunar payloads.
I received my interdisciplinary PhD in Exploration Systems Design from Arizona State University in Tempe. My PhD focused on nuclear instrumentation for measuring the geologic composition of planetary surfaces and included significant contributions to the NASA LunaH-Map mission team. I am a continued mission scientist on the LunaH-Map mission and performed the first analysis of its’ lunar flyby data.
My career focus is to be able to combine my passion for science with my engineering and analysis skills through development of instrumentation or mission design to explore planetary bodies. I eventually want to give that knowledge back to the STEM community and the next generation through teaching and course development.
I earned my Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering with an emphasis on instrumentation from the University of New Mexico in May 2015. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from California State University: Chico in May 2013.
I previously (2015-2017) worked on R&D projects at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in the Nuclear & Chemical Sciences Division as a Post-Master’s Research Assistant.
I have many hobbies outside of my career, including rock climbing, distance running, backpacking, hiking, swimming, homebrewing, and cooking. I do all of these things with my fiance, Jon Garich, and our dog, Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy Heffern.
I am always up for public outreach and other opportunities, please feel free to contact me.