UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

Interview with Annie Wargetz, Graduate Student in Space Studies is this week’s Women in Science post

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Annie WargetzWhat is your field of science?

I am currently in candidacy for a Masters of Space Studies.  My focus is in human factors, including life support systems, closed ecological systems, crew accommodations, human space flight, nutrition and physiology in space, and many, many more areas.

What sparked your interest in science?

I have been interested in astronomy, space, and astronauts since before I can remember.  One of the earliest memories I have is coming home from school to see the Challenger explosion.  That memory remains a very vivid memory for me.  In recent years, I have been inspired by Seth Shostak and Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute, Geoff Marcy of the University of California at Berkeley, Elon Musk of SpaceX, and astronaut Story Musgrave.  They all inspire me because they are pioneers and never give up.

Can you describe your research?

I am in my first semester here at UND, so I have not yet begun my own research.  However, I am reading a lot of research that has been done on crew nutrition, crew accommodations, and closed ecological systems for life support (such as BIOS-3 and Biosphere 2).  There are so many gaps in our knowledge and understanding of how to support a crew on a long duration space flight that my options are endless and I cannot wait to get started on my own research someday soon!

Have there been any special opportunities that you have been able to take advantage of?

Absolutely! The faculty and staff in the Space Studies department are all legends, so it is an honor to take their classes and listen to them discuss their research.  I am currently working as a GRA on an unmanned mission design team.  Our main objective is to send a space craft to an asteroid that could potentially hit the Earth and shove it out of the way.  I will be going to the SEDS conference in a few weeks in Boulder, Colorado where the keynote speaker is Bill Nye the Science Guy.  There is no shortage of special opportunities!

How important is it to have networking opportunities?

Networking in this job market is not only important, it is absolutely required.  Unfortunately, there are so many people out there trying to find work that the competition is fierce.  It truly is becoming an age where it is increasingly more important who you know as well as what you know.  Each person you meet could potentially become the link that gets you your next job.  As a grad student, going to conferences and getting your research out there and known is crucial.


For more on Women in Science in The Graduate School at the University of North Dakota check out these other posts:


Interview with Lisa Burnett – PhD student, Microbiology & Immunology, is this week’s Women in Science post
Introducing UND’s Women in Science Group
Women in Science – Challenges in being a (overly) supportive mentor

Written by School of Graduate Studies

September 21, 2011 at 7:03 am

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  1. […] Annie Wargetz, Space Studies […]

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