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- 2005 Nature Photography and Bird Watching Trip, Outer Banks, NC


Current Interests

updated 8/11/11


Physics has been my long-standing interest for as far back as I could remember. I will wander between topics, such as space, electromagnetism, relativity, and fluid mechanics, but what keeps me locked in to the broader subject of physics is a fascination for forces, motion, and energy. Lately the focus has been on solar energy.

If you haven't already, I've completed a writeup of my physics research. I welcome you to take a look and see what you think.

Solar Design and Installation

If you've taken a look at my blog, you can see where my practical interests currently lie. After my master's degree, I went back to school at Durham Tech to get some education in this developing field. I took a total of 3 courses before passing my NABCEP entry level exam with the highest grade in my class, and getting a job at Sundogs Solutions in Durham. Unfortunately after a few months I was laid off, and am now back on the job market - which fortunately gives me time to update this website.

Research - GIS, Ecology, and Biology

When I was in graduate school from 2005-2009, my research was largely GIS (geographic information systems)-based. I had two topics of interest - how vegetation types would redistribute themselves due to climate change (thesis research - .pdf, 4 MB), and how habitat fragmentation might impede or aid the process. I wanted to learn how to model these changes, to build simulations that would incorporate relevant variables and project on a map where particular vegetation types might be. I took several courses in modeling, but I never quite got to the stage where I could make a simulation for my research. This might be a good potential Ph.D project, should I go back for my Ph.D someday.

Before that, I was into biology research in college. Instead of spending 9 weeks in a summer research program, I opted to spend one week condensing about 4 years' worth of papers, notes, and bookmarks into a 24-page paper entitled The Cellular Mechanisms of Aging (.pdf, 282 KB). It's a review of all we know (as of 2004) about the genetics behind the aging process, and describes how lifespan extension research can be done with current technologies.

Basement Renovation Project

Over the course of 3 years I’ve framed walls, installed insulation, wall board, cut and laid floor tile, installed carpet, cabinets, and stone countertops. I’ve also done basic plumbing with copper and plastic pipe. I’ve acquired these skills by teaching myself from online sources and watching the occasional contractor that we hire.

High-Speed Photography

This is one of my more hands-on projects involving my fascination with physics. I love photographing splashes because of the action captured on film, the patterns of motion involved, the beautiful fluid shapes that emerge, and I am always striving for a photo with the greatest symmetry. When we get our photo lab set up I want to do more photos that may not necessarily be high-speed, but are just as beautiful - wave patterns, vortices, thin-film interference, etc.

Nature Photography

I started doing nature photography with my husband to try to capture beautiful photos of natural scenes. It is ironic, but there can be motion even in a still image; the idea is to capture it in some way that evokes the feeling of motion.

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