I'm Katie Peek, and I come from Lewiston, New York, a small town north of Niagara Falls and right on the Canadian border. I just graduated from Mount Holyoke College, which is in western Massachusetts, in May 2002. There, I was a double major in physics and astronomy.
My senior thesis topic was the formation of Saturn's rings, a project that I began last summer during an internship at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. During my tenure at Mount Holyoke, I also had the opportunity to spend the fall of my junior year (fall 2000) in the Universe Semester program at the Biosphere 2 Center, which is run by Columbia University in the Arizona desert north of Tucson. We spent a week camping in northern Arizona, visiting Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater. We also spent a week observing on Kitt Peak. It was a great experience and produced heaps of great memories. The summer before the Biosphere, I worked in the Space Sciences department at Cornell University on, again, Saturn's rings. That time, I was helping plan observations with the Cassini spacecraft, scheduled to arrive at Saturn in 2004.
My summer here in Washington, D.C. is probably my last summer internship before I move into the world of high school physics teaching and, eventually, astrophysics graduate school.