Emily Griffith

Emily Griffith with a parrot

1. Can you describe your role in the SDSS collaboration and what you enjoy most about it?

I am a co-chair of the COINS committee and a member of the Milky Way Mapper survey. I really enjoy my involvement with COINS, where I am able to promote inclusivity within the collaboration and support the FAST program to bring astronomy research to smaller schools and minority serving institutions. My favorite thing about being a part of SDSS is that I get to meet and collaborate with so many amazing scientists from across the globe.

2. Can you tell us about your educational background and how you got interested in the field of astronomy/astrophysics?

I am currently a post-doc at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I received my Ph.D. in Astronomy from The Ohio State University, and my B.A. in Physics and Theatre from Grinnell College, a small liberal arts school in Iowa. I became very interested in Astronomy while I was an undergraduate and able to take astronomy coursework and do summer research internships.

3. What projects are you currently working on and what are you most excited about?

I am very interested in stellar nucleosynthesis and the origin of the elements. I am currently using stellar abundances from APOGEE and Milky Way Mapper to build nucleosynthetic models of the Galaxy and learn about the underlying enrichment channels. I plan to apply these models to local dwarf galaxies to learn how their chemical enrichment histories differs from the Milky Way.

4. Can you describe how you balance work and personal life, and what advice would you give to someone just starting in the field?

I really struggled with work-life balance as a graduate student, and starting my current post-doc I knew that I wanted to find a better balance. It’s helped me to set working and not-working hours and to limit checking my work email in the early mornings or late evenings. If I have a busy week or many deadlines, I make sure to plan some time to do something that I enjoy.

5. Can you share with us a unique hobby or interest that you have outside of work?

I recently started taking a pottery class! I’ve been learning how to throw clay bowls and vases on a wheel as well as how to glaze and fire them. Its challenging, and surprisingly difficult to make something perfectly symmetric, but a lot of fun and a great artistic outlet. 

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