What is your position or role in the DESI project?
I am a member of the Data Management team with primary responsibility for data transfer and archiving. This includes the transfer of raw data from Kitt Peak to NERSC, as well as transfers and backups of reduced data.
Where were you born?
Dayton, Ohio, USA.
Where do you live now?
Tucson, Arizona, USA.
What do you do as part of DESI?
The role of data archiving requires very careful thought about how data will be accessed and used by the collaboration and the general public. In order to maximize utility and minimize potential confusion, strict quality standards need to be applied to data, code and documentation. Many of these quality standards can be enforced by automation, and I also advise other collaborators on simple ways they can ensure quality from the outset.
What is the most interesting or exciting thing about your job?
I would say on-mountain observing, but that hasn’t been possible for a very long time. That’s unfortunate because the experience of actually working at (in?) a telescope is valuable as well as exciting. Another interesting aspect is following developments in the wider fields of supercomputing, storage, programming and other advanced information technology fields, and sharing that experience with NOIRLab and DESI.
Any advice for an aspiring scientist?
Travel. The current state of affairs is just a phase, and society will realize the importance of travel again. For now, pay for it yourself if you have to, but get out there into the whole world. You can’t taste the food over Zoom.
What do you do for fun?
Hiking, biking, reading, running, enjoying the cuisine of Tucson, a World City of Gastronomy.
If you weren’t a scientist, what would be your dream job?
What excites/interests you most about DESI?
DESI is building on the success of a great team of scientists and engineers, many of whom worked for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). It is always a privilege and a pleasant experience to continue working with this team. Considering the astonishing breadth of results from SDSS, the scientific possibilities of DESI are mind-blowing.