Erin holds a PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University and a BA in Astrophysics from Columbia University. Her research interests include astrobiology, and theoretical and observational (exo)planet characterization and detection. Currently, she studies the atmospheric dynamics and chemistry of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Titan is a moon unlike any other in our solar system, with a robust atmosphere and liquid on its surface, though the liquid is methane and not water. Erin researches how we can improve the realism in large, complex atmospheric models of Titan to both explain current observations of global climate phenomena, and predict ongoing and future conditions. She is currently a researcher on the upcoming NASA Dragonfly mission that will launch to probe Titan in 2027.
In addition to her research, she is passionate about educational outreach in STEM, and increasing diversity in, and access to, higher education. Erin has been a guest lecturer and Assistant in Instruction for many astronomy courses at Princeton, helping to educate the next generation of Astrophysicists. She is particularly dedicated to tutoring and mentoring scientists-to-be from under-represented groups, as an African American woman herself.
On campus, she was the head Diversity Fellow with the Access, Diversity and Inclusion office, to help foster greater diversity and inclusion on our campus through recruitment, mentoring, and creating both social and educational events.
Another teaching and mentoring role that she is particularly proud of is her role as a volunteer teacher with Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative (PTI). As the name suggests, PTI goes into local prisons and offers a wide range of courses for incarcerated individuals. After roughly two years of being a volunteer math and science teacher with PTI, she was awarded the PTI Math & Physics Fellowship, and she worked even more closely with the program to curate course curricula, recruit and train volunteers, and conduct pedagogy research. She is also pleased to be partially responsible for what is the first-ever physics lab course taught in a prison classroom.
Working with undergraduate students, both traditional and non-traditional, has been integral to her career as a scientist. As the Assistant Director in STEM Education in the Council on Science and Technology at Princeton University, she aims to continue working with these students who are so passionate for an education, and to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM on our campus and in our community.