Kirsten is an astrophysicist interested in harnessing the power of earth observation satellites and data science to tackle climate change.
Kirsten’s science originally focused on the evolution of galaxies over all of cosmic time. During her PhD, she combined state-of-the-art datasets with advanced theoretical modeling to uncover the relationship between star-forming galaxies and dark matter and to measure the impact of growing supermassive black holes on their host galaxies.
As a Schmidt Science Fellow, Kirsten has moved to the Atmospheric Measurements Group as an advisee of Dr. Kelly Chance at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Here, she aims to pivot into climate science to use her expertise with large datasets to convert raw data from atmospheric monitoring satellites and ground-based observatories into actionable information that can be used to improve vitally important climate models and inform climate policy.
Kirsten’s interest in space was first sparked by identifying constellations with her mother as a child in rural Pennsylvania. As a first generation college graduate, she intends to inspire the public and policymakers to trust the science surrounding climate change and to improve the relationship between humans and the Earth.