This star-struck engineer-turned-scientist is currently a graduate student at Brown University, pursuing a Ph.D. in Geology. With any luck, I’ll be Dr. Caswell sometime in 2017!
I am from a small town, called Soldotna, on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. From there I went to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering while launching a suborbital rocket and flying twice aboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft.
After college I moved to Houston, TX and a job as a Flight Controller for the International Space Station. As an Operator of the Environmental and Thermal Operating Systems (ETHOS) console in ISS Mission Control, I monitored the day-to-day runnings of the environmental systems of the Space Station. I ensured that the crew of 6 onboard the Station had breathable, comfortable air and plenty of water (by running the water recycling system that turns “yesterday’s coffee into tomorrow’s fruit punch”).
My other duties as an ETHOS included training fellow Flight Controllers and astronauts and helping scientists integrate their experiments into the Station’s Life Support System. It was in the latter role that I began to see science at work on the ISS – a US National Laboratory – and want to know more about the science itself.
So, of course, I decided to go back to school! And the rest is blog history…
Thanks for reading about my research! This study (and my graduate experience) are funded in part by the National Science Foundation.