Life outside of astronomy
I live in Seattle with my husband, Dan, and my energetic border collie, Mink. In my spare time, I love to get outside. Lately my hobbies have included (in no particular order) running, climbing, eating, dancing, good coffee, snowboarding, kiteboarding, hiking, learning new languages, playing musical instruments, reading, traveling.
I picked up running in my senior year of undergrad to relieve stress. Since then, it has grown into one of my most cherished hobbies. I love listening to podcasts on my morning runs, with Mink by my side. On occasion, I challenge myself by signing up for long-distance races.
I started bouldering in high school, but I didn’t seriously get into climbing until I graduated college. I love how climbing combines adrenaline with the creative mental challenge of discovering the right moves. During the work week and rainy season, Dan and I go to the climbing gym a few evenings out of the week. When the weather is nice, we explore the many mountains that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Learning new languages
My passion for learning new languages started in early childhood. I was born in eastern Ukraine, where I grew up speaking both Ukrainian and Russian. When I was 8, my family moved to the United States. Although I had taken some English classes before moving, I learned the most by being completely immersed once I started elementary school. I fell in love with the French language in high school and continued to take courses in it through undergrad. The summer after my junior year, I did a research project in Heidelberg, Germany. In preparation, I worked through the first few levels of the German Rosetta Stone program. What started as a practical necessity ended up transforming into a genuine appreciation, and I took German language electives all through my senior year. Most recently, I took up Spanish to better understand my husband's Panamanian roots.