The Beach Physics Team

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Dr. Adam Burgasser, PI and Founder

Adam is an Associate Professor of Physics at UC San Diego, and an astrophysicist. He developed Beach Physics in 2010 as a way to make physics relevant, accessible and fun to students of all ages.  When he’s not proving he can float in the ocean, Adam studies the Galaxy’s coolest stars and brown dwarfs with optical and radio telescopes, and integrates science and art through his Project Planetaria collaboration.  Originally from Buffalo, NY, Adam earned a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology, was a Hubble and Spitzer postdoctoral fellow, and has held faculty positions at MIT and UCSD.  He was a national champion springboard diver in the previous millenium, but now spends most of his time with his feet firmly planted on the ground.

 

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Dianna Cowern, Outreach Coordinator

Physics enthusiast and brainstorming wizard, Dianna recently received her Bachelor’s of Science in Physics from MIT. Driving tractors on a farm in Hawaii where she grew up could not have prepared her for the science and engineering pursuits upon which she would later pounce. Nicknamed “happy pants” in college, Dianna researched dark matter with Prof. Jocelyn Monroe as an undergraduate, and low-metallicity stars with Prof. Anna Frebel as a post-baccalaureate research fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, before bringing her happy intern pants to GE where she worked as a Software Engineer designing mobile apps. Eventually, she started exercising the nerdy side of her brain on YouTube as Physics Woman before coming to UCSD as a science outreach coordinator. She loves to surf, hike and travel.

 

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Genevive Bjorn, Science Writer and Project Manager

Genevive is a science educator with a decade of journalism, communications and project management experience. She has university and K-12 science instruction experience and fluency in numerous pedagogical approaches. She is an excellent writer with consumer, trade and education experience, and her work has appeared in The New York TimesNature Medicine, Nature, Science, and others. Science writing clients include Sally Ride Science, MIT and the University of Minnesota. She won a fellowship in independent publishing to the Knight Digital Media Center on the campus of UC Berkeley in 2011. Her formal academic training is in biomedical sciences, and she did her graduate work on malaria at the University of Hawaii. She is currently pursuing an M.Ed. in science education at UCSD. Her first job as a science writer was with an international astronomical observatory based in Hawaii. She loves to hike, surf, travel and cook. She blogs about food at RecipesinSeason.org .

 

natasha-banchik-ucsd-beach-physics-interNatasha Banchik, Intern and Physics Teacher-in-Training

Tasha earned her BS in physics at UCSD in 2013. She will be continuing her education in UCSD’s M.Ed. program with the ultimate goal of becoming a K-12 physics teacher. She has worked with children ranging from 3 years old up to college students, and working with special needs children (especially her brother) is what inspired her to want to become a physics teacher. In the process of teaching others, she has learned much about the world and she wants to be able to share what she loves about physics with everyone she meets.