Tom Rice is a second-year astronomy PhD student at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on the environments in which stars and planets are born, and he’s currently working on creating the first catalog of star-forming molecular clouds throughout the Milky Way. In the past, he’s studied how the infrared brightness of young, disked stars changes over time, and for his PhD thesis plans to study the role of nitrogen astrochemistry in planetary formation, with his advisor Ted Bergin.
Tom is an Oregon native and attended Harvard as an undergrad. As a child of deaf adults (CODA), Tom grew up speaking American Sign Language (ASL) alongside English bilingually, and aspires to develop astronomy curricula in ASL for education and outreach to Deaf youth. Tom tweets at @tomr_stargazer when not astro-tweeping, is an avid stargazer and occasional guitarist, and only listens to the Mountain Goats.