Hey! I’m Olivia (she/her), a second year astronomy graduate student at UT Austin. My research focuses on extreme distant galaxies, specifically the formation and evolution of massive galaxies in the first few billion years of the universe. I graduated from Smith College in May 2020 with degrees in Astronomy and Physics and a concentration in Climate Change.
BA in Astronomy & Physics, 2020
Find my abstracts and publications on ADS Abstract Server
Check out my posts on Astrobites
In the press, blog posts, and more
A complete census of dusty star-forming galaxies (DSFGs) at early epochs is necessary to constrain the obscured contribution to the cosmic star formation rate density, however DSFGs beyond z~4 are both rare and hard to identify from photometric data alone due to degeneracies in submillimeter photometry with redshift. Here, we present a pilot study obtaining follow-up Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) 2mm observations of a complete sample of 39 850um-bright dusty galaxies in the SSA22 field. Empirical modeling suggests 2mm imaging of existing, bright samples of DSFGs selected at 850um-1mm can quickly and easily isolate the needle in a haystack DSFGs that sit at z>4 or beyond. With available redshift constraints, we find a positive correlation between redshift and 2mm flux density. Specifically, our models suggest the addition of 2mm to a moderately constrained IR SED will improve the accuracy of a millimeter-derived redshift from dz/(1+z) = 0.3 to dz/(1+z) = 0.2. Combining archival submillimeter imaging with our measured ALMA 2mm photometry (1sigma ~ 0.08mJy beam^-1 rms), we characterize the galaxies’ IR SEDs and use them to constrain redshifts. Our IR SED characterizations provide evidence for relatively high emissivity spectral indices ( = 2.4+0.4-0.3) in the sample. From millimeter photometric redshifts we identify 7/39 high-z candidates each with >50% likelihood for z > 4, and demonstrate the utility of 2mm imaging as a redshift filter for DSFGs. We measure that especially bright (S850um>5.5mJy) galaxies contribute ~10% to the cosmic-averaged CSFRD from 2<z<5, confirming findings from previous work with similar samples.
Conservation scientists need to advance climate literacy so that people understand how climate affects all of life, acquire the skills to communicate about climate change, and become aware of ways to increase local resiliency. We examined syllabus content for 74 general climate change courses taught at the undergraduate college‐level to investigate the scope and extent to which these climate change courses include key topics to advance climate literacy. By analyzing the textual data, we discovered most courses had a strong focus on biogeophysical science and only 8.8 and 9.4% of the terms that occurred in this sample were connected to climate change solutions and communication, respectively. The fine category “Organisms,” which includes terms for specific animals such as “jellyfish” and “urchin” and related terms like “species”, was only observed in 26% of the syllabi; and the term “biodiversity” was mentioned seven times, “extinction” four times, and “animal” was mentioned two times across all 74 syllabi. This reveals a potential gap in addressing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, and the role of some species in regulating climate. We recommend educators include a broader array of inter‐disciplinary topics, place‐based information, communication strategies, and mitigation and adaptation solutions to bridge the gap between climate science, literacy, and action.