Hello! I’m Sarah Peacock, a sixth year PhD student at the Lunar and Planetary Lab. My research interests have always revolved around exoplanets and the quest to find life outside of our solar system. To help meet this goal, I model the high-energy radiation that exoplanets are exposed to, which is important for determining whether their atmospheric conditions are right for supporting life as we know it. I’m also on the science team for a new NASA mission set to launch in 2021. The spacecraft is called SPARCS and will monitor flare activity for a handful of stars (it’s also super small - about the size of large cereal box!). After graduating, I plan to continue my research for a while before transitioning to a career in space policy.
When I’m not working, I like to cook, paint, and build things with my hands. I run an annual art show through my department called the Art of Planetary Science, where we show works of art that are inspired by or created from planetary science data. The purpose of the show is to bring together Tucson’s art and science communities to show that math and science are beautiful and accessible to everyone.
I have experience teaching math, physics, and astronomy to undergraduate students at the UofA. As a teaching assistant, I would hold both one-on-one tutoring sessions with my students as well as reviews for larger groups, and in 2014, I won my department award for Graduate Teaching Excellence, as nominated by my students. As a tutor, I believe it is super important to understand the “why” and not just the “how” when it comes to solving a problem. I like to come up with real-world scenarios where you would need to use an equation in order to make it relatable and to motivate my students to want to know how to solve the problem. My tutoring style is patient, compassionate, and non-judgmental. My goal is to make the learning environment as comfortable as possible, and to explain complicated concepts in a simple and meaningful way.