Teaching & Outreach

I’ve been very fortunate to take part in a wide variety of outreach and teaching activities, all of which have enriched my life in many ways.  At the moment, I am an outreach and communications consultant for several university departments and projects, including USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies and Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, Caltech’s IQIM, the Keck Institute for Space Studies, and LIGO.

As a science communicator and subject matter expert, I’ve appeared on several popular podcasts to nerd out about planets and popular science:

Titanium Physicists with Ben Tippett

Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria

Know Brainer with Christina Ochoa

Explain Things to Me with Anna Akana and Brad Gage

In 2011, I produced The PHD Movie, a live-action adaptation featuring the PHD Comics characters and filmed entirely at Caltech.

I am a co-founder of PHD TV, an offshoot of PHD Comics (a webcomic by Jorge Cham about life – or the lack thereof – in grad school) that produces short web videos on science and academia. I have served as the Director of Programming and a series producer, as well as an animator and narrator.

I coordinated and taught several classes and workshops for the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA), including an all-day “Genius Day” workshop focusing on astronomer Annie Jump Cannon and an astronomy course (co-taught with Dr. Tony Travouillon).


As a graduate student at Caltech, I served as a teaching assistant for several courses in planetary science, including:  Introduction to Planetary Science, Planetary Surfaces, and Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems.

Outside of the classroom, I’ve been very involved in student theater at Caltech as a production coordinator, director, and workshop instructor.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve found Twitter to be a particularly effective means of engaging a wide and interested audience.  In addition to maintaining my personal account, I’ve been very privileged to guest host two popular science- and humanities-themed rotation-curation accounts, @realscientists and @wethehumanities.

As the Tolman/Bacher House Curator for the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS), I coordinated displays and an online exhibit to showcase the history of one of Caltech’s oldest buildings.  Here’s a brief introduction to the house and its onetime residents: