I’m AstronoMerrdiff (aka Dr. Meredith L. Rawls), a stellar astronomer. I work as a postdoctoral research associate in the LSST Data Management group at the University of Washington.

When I’m not writing software to process images from an awesome future giant telescope, my research uses binary stars and 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! Learn more on my Research page, or jump straight to my CV.

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. Learn more on my Teaching page.

My science writing has been featured here, on Astrobites, on the Planetary Society blog, and at astronomy.com. I am a trained Astronomy Ambassador and occasionally lead astronomy-themed retreats. Learn more on my Outreach page.

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 playing viola, traveling, frequenting local restaurants, advocating for equity and inclusivity, hiking, entertaining my cats, 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 currently split my time between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.

Oh, and I don’t really think we’re “all in the gutter.” I just love that Oscar Wilde quote.

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

Header image credit: Jillian Bornak