I’m AstronoMerrdiff (aka Meredith L. Rawls, PhD), a stellar astronomer and software developer.  I am a Research Scientist in the Vera C. Rubin Observatory Data Management group at the University of Washington, and I keep update my professional website more up-to-date than this one.

When I’m not writing software to process images for the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), my research uses difference imaging as well as binary/variable stars as tools to better understand how all stars live and evolve. It’s amazing how much we can learn about faraway stars just by observing their light!

I am passionate about quality science education and engagement for all, enjoy writing, and love getting people excited about astronomy. I have experience teaching lab courses, lecturing, facilitating interactive classrooms, developing distance-education curricula, and giving planetarium presentations. My science writing has been featured here, on Astrobites, on the Planetary Society blog, and at astronomy.com. I am have attended and organized ComSciCon events, I am a trained Astronomy Ambassador, and I have even led an astronomy-themed retreat.

Hiking with my husband in the Yosemite Valley, September 2015
Hiking with my husband in the Yosemite Valley, Sept. 2015

Some of my other interests include parenting, playing viola, bicycle commuting, entertaining my cats, traveling, eating at local restaurants, playing board games, reducing light pollution, and volunteering at summer camp and church.

I majored in physics at Harvey Mudd College, got a master’s degree in astronomy at San Diego State University, and completed my PhD in astronomy at New Mexico State University. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and am thrilled to call Seattle home.

Oh, and I don’t necessarily think we’re “all in the gutter.” I just like that quote.

The content and opinions on this site are my own unless explicitly mentioned otherwise.

Header image credit: Jillian Bornak