“After all, we are all made of star dust, and so I hope that we can work to understand the origin of life together. Fortunately, we have about 5 billion years until the Sun enters a red giant phase and consumes the Earth, returning us to star dust once more.”Read More
Graduate School: Applying, Living, Thesising
The Professional Student is a blog about everything grad school from the application process to my experiences living as a grad student, being a parent in grad school, and researching the role of chemistry in the evolution of our universe.
Filtering by Tag: Travel
Science art, travel, conferences, travel, moving, and travel. These are the highlights from my eighth and ninth terms of graduate school.Read More
Obtaining astronomical data with a telescope takes much longer than several hours actually using the instrument. Rather, the process takes months starting with a telescope proposal that provides both scientific justification for the project and technical justification for the instruments requested. Here’s a look into what this process looks like, from writing the proposal itself to the review process, using my recent Green Bank Telescope observations to provide some examples.Read More
I recently went on a bit of a speaking tour about south-central PA. I gave six talks in two weeks while there. Here is how I arranged my tour!Read More
My family took the opportunity to experience totality during the 2017 solar eclipse and turned it into a 2,770-mile road trip! Along the way, we stopped at some pretty cool places.Read More
In the first six months of Günther, he has had three addresses, traveled internationally and cross-country, and has helped me strike a healthy work-life balance in the early days of my graduate studies.Read More
The final day of the RT2GS clocked in at 225.1 miles, giving a grand total of 2921.2 miles from New Oxford to Pasadena, 13 states, and two telescope visits.Read More
At the end of day 5, 543.5 miles through New Mexico, Arizona, and the edge of California; 2696.1 miles traveled total; and 27 antennae of the Very Large Array (VLA)!Read More
On day 4 of RT2GS, 641.6 miles of flatness, bringing the total up to 2152.6 miles.Read More
On day 3, 570.2 miles traveled, yielding 1511 total miles down. We're over halfway (mileage-wise) to Pasadena!Read More
Miles on day 2: 624.5; Miles so far: 940.8Read More
Total distance on Day 1: 316.3 miles
Total distance so far: 316.3 miles
Greetings from Snowshoe, West Virginia! Alex, Günther, and I are about to go to bed in preparation of a long day of driving tomorrow. This is the first of (hopefully only) five nights on our road trip, and it is the only strictly planned day; we're leaving the rest of our trip flexible in case we are feeling especially energetic or in need of an early night.
Our day started with breakfast with my parents in New Oxford, after which we headed back to their place to do some last-minute packing. Around 10:00, we were finally ready to hit the road!
After saying our good-byes to my dad, mom, and sister (my brother was conveniently at college, avoiding the waterworks), we made a pit stop in New Oxford square to say goodbye to Alex's parents.
The first stop on our trip was Starbucks in Chambersburg at the Route 30/I-81 junction. This particular Starbucks is perhaps the most inconvenient stop to make. The building and lot look like they must have belonged to a used car business, and getting back on to 30 before proceeding to 81 can be a real pain. Nevertheless, this stop is tradition.
To our dismay, Starbucks was no longer Starbucks; the used car lot site was now the future home of a Daily Grind. We still had to make the irritating turn-around to get back to 81. We proceeded to Sheetz for coffee instead. Of course, as soon as we pulled out of Sheetz, Güni woke from his nap. Thankfully, he was happily chatting until we got to the West Virginia welcome center along 81 south of Hagerstown, Maryland, where we stopped for him to eat.
We continued down 81 to Staunton, Virginia, where we stopped for "lunch" (at 3:00 p.m.) at The Depot Grille. They have awesome iced tea—which was most refreshing—and some of the best burgers. I recommend the bacon and cheddar bison burger; it is mouth-watering good!
Bonus: tables at The Depot have paper table coverings and handfuls of crayons for coloring entertainment pre-food.
After Staunton, we headed west on Route 250 through the mountains and into West Virginia. Turning south at Bartow, we headed to Green Bank. As the Green Bank Telescope can into view, I could not help but grin. Naturally, we stopped at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, where my journey in astrochemistry began 17 years ago when I saw my first radio telescope.
After dropping our bag off at the Inn at Snowshoe, we headed up to Foxfire Grille for some pulled pork sandwiches (while Güni chomped on his blanket).
Now, we sleep, in the heart of the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ), where cell phone service and WiFi are hard to come by (at least legally). Tomorrow, we leave the NRQZ and head west!
I am 15 days from the departure date for my road trip to grad school (RT2GS). My family and I are packing our SUV full of kitchen appliances and clothes, eager to reach our new home in Pasadena.Read More