Monday, October 14, 2013


Hello, devoted readers. I am stoked to introduce myself as the new APS science writing intern and tell you a little bit about the journey that’s led me to this wonderful physics nook in College Park, Maryland. It starts in a place not too far from here at the Ohio State University where I studied astronomy and physics, dabbled in astronomy research and discovered my passion for science writing as an undergrad.

My path then veers south to the land of cowboy boots, BBQ and “Howdy!” greetings at Texas A&M University – the school from which I will earn a master’s in science and technology journalism this December. From there, I launched myself into a series of internships, each one with unforgettable people and invaluable experiences that I will forever carry with me.

A stone’s throw away from APS, situated in the hustle and bustle of DC’s Dupont Circle, is the American Geophysical Union where I interned as a science writer during summer 2012. Incidentally, one of the media office’s esteemed writers, Mary Catherine Adams, was an APS science writing intern and taught me one of the most important rules in writing and self-editing – read aloud as you write and review. Covering such environmental issues as arctic melting, carbon sequestration and water scarcity was a rewarding, eye-opening experience.

From AGU, I headed west to farm country Illinois where American bison roam and coyotes prowl amongst the fields and meadows that also house particle accelerators and neutrino detectors of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. For many writing assignments, I visited one of Fermilab’s experiments or instruments, learned how it worked and wrote about it. From electron guns the size of cannons to neutrino detectors larger than the average living room, the lab has cutting-edge technology in all shapes, colors and sizes – a thrilling site to see and cover.

After Fermilab, I packed my bags, hopped the Atlantic and interned in Trieste, Italy for the International Centre for Theoretical Physics. ICTP is one of many science institutes in Trieste and promotes scientific advancement within developing countries by hosting physicists from Burkina Faso, Columbia, Guatemala, Georgia and many other countries. Individuals' experiences of overcoming limited resources in an impoverished world and finding help through ICTP are stories I will not soon forget.

I returned from Italy about one week ago, which brings me to today, sitting here at APS with a cup of steaming cocoa beside me, anticipations for fall leaves, festivals and food and mounting excitement for the stories to come during my time here at APS. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I’m sure I will enjoy writing them.

Last on the docket, my pseudonym under which I will be posting. I combined Newton with The Terminator as a nod to my admiration for science fact and fiction.

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