Career Goals: Public outreach at a planetarium

Her Story: Interested in astronomy since childhood, Mary Holt didn’t think of it as a career until a community-college class with a friend showed her that the field was more than just observing. She transferred to U-M, met with the undergraduate advisor, got a course plan, and declared her major. Soon after, she began doing research with Professor Nuria Calvet on protoplanetary disks. Through this, she’s learning basic programming and modeling, which she’s used to look at the relationship between energy and opacity in these disks.

Favorite Experience: “I attended a talk by a graduate student who was combining astronomy with museum studies, and it gave me a window to things I could do with my degree. I joined SAS and started doing their open-house planetarium shows every couple weeks. Through the club, I learned about two part-time jobs at the Detroit Observatory and the Natural History Museum’s planetarium. My involvement in SAS and their open houses got me these jobs, and through them I’ve realized how much I enjoy teaching the public about astronomy.”