Arna Karick is an e-Research Consultant at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia). Over the past year or so she has been championing the idea of ‘data science’ in astronomy and challenging traditional ideas about the tenured astronomer. She is a big fan of alternative careers both in research and in the tech industry and a supporter of the .Astronomy community. A lot of her time is spent of data management policies and procedures, writing and talking about data-intensive research and help to build e-Research capability at Swinburne across all research disciplines. In her spare working hours she tries to keep up with her astronomy research; unravelling the structure of galaxies in Coma and trying to understand how galaxies change as the cluster evolves. Her new favourite data science tools are (in theory) GitHub, iPython Notebook, D3js Data-DrivenVisualisation, and ‘Y’avascript. Forking still baffles her.
Arna grew up in Melbourne (Australia) and shortly after obtaining her PhD Astrophysics she moved overseas as mostAustralian graduates do. She spent four years in sunny California at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLNL) looking for ultra-compact dwarf galaxies in Fornax, Virgo and Coma and testing the limits of the WIYN spectrograph and the Keck DEIMOS, ESI and NIRC-LGSAO systems. She has been known to use precious 10m telescope time to take 1s exposures of very bright stars for the HST/STIS Next Generation Spectral Library modelling. Arna then moved to the Astrophysics Research Institute in Liverpool (UK) to join the HST/ACS Coma Cluster Treasury Survey where she spent a lot of time scrutinising follow-up data and automatic image analysis/classification pipelines. Two and half years later she moved to the University of Oxford where she had an all-round jolly good time attending debates at the Sheldonian (Dawkins vs Rowan) and punting along the Cherwell. As part of the the Astrophysics Group she analysed 100s of archival HST images for the Atlas3D Galaxy Survey and co-authored a paper. She then moved back to Australia in fear that her family might give up and disown her.
Arna tweets all things astronomy and data science: @drarnakarick