Meet Courtney, That Girl at NASA, a new Contributor on The Global Lead!
The Global Lead is excited to announce a new Content Partner and Contributor, Courtney Batterson, That Girl at NASA. Just to clarify for our global readers who may not have heard of this “stellar” group based in Texas, NASA is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the government organization that explores our universe and launches rockets into space! Their vision statement says, We reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind. Thousands of people have been working around the world -- and off of it -- for decades, trying to answer some basic questions. What's out there? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?”
Courtney Batterson is one of many remarkable people working with NASA as a contractor through BAER-1. She is doing research at the Ames Research Center in California to answer these very questions, specifically as they apply to Mars. At 23 years of age, her story and journey is remarkable, and her passion for increasing visibility and recognition for women in science is stellar. She’s equally invested in future generations of scientists, managing multiple platforms from which she advises and encourages young people to pursue STEM careers.
In doing research for the GL, I stumbled upon Courtney’s blog, and read this on her blog:
"So, you want to be a scientist?
Not just another blog. A kickass, inspirational site created by a woman set out to lift others to the top with her. “
I contacted Courtney immediately and shortly had the distinct pleasure of talking with her, finding her to be a woman with great enthusiasm, energy, intelligence and sense of humor. When asked if she would become a Content Partner and Contributor, the GL was thrilled when Courtney said YES!
“I'm a (spectacular) 23-year old Assistant Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA via a co-op organization called BAER-1,that's in the San Francisco Bay area, south bay. I'm originally from Bloomington, MN (home of the Mall of America) where I learned to say "uff-dah" when lifting anything heavy and to apologize whenever someone bumps into me, especially if it's their fault.
I have a B.S. in Environmental Science (Global Systems & Public Policy) with a double minor in Communication Studies and Atmospheric Science. I graduated summa cum laude in May 2017 from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. I did indeed learn to husk corn while living in Cornhusker nation and I've become quite the Nebraska Football Fan as a result of living there too so long.
Post-graduation, I worked the last two weeks of my low-paying waitressing job (that introduced me to Warren Buffet) as I packed up my life to move across the country yet again. It was less scary the second time, which I hope brings confidence to others looking to make big life changes. Someone in my past told me to say "yes" to any opportunity I can get, even if it seems impossible. So when I accepted an internship at NASA Ames in March 2016, I did so in ignorant bliss - no clue how I'd make this work. But then, I made it work. And NASA called me in September offering me a full-time position come graduation. Again, the ignorant bliss (okay, less-ignorant then. I'd hoped for that call) took over my mind and I was compelled to accept. I mean, why wouldn't I? So my man got a job in San Jose, we figured out how to rent a U-haul, hooked it up to his tiny Honda Civic (mistake - should've towed it behind my Buick). We packed all that would fit into two cars and the trailer and donated/left everything else behind. It took us four days, 15.8 coffees, and a weird encounter with groundhogs to caravan to the Bay Area. We moved in and we've been loving life ever since.
I do Mars climate research, which involves taking data from the Mars rovers (like the one Matt Damon found in The Martian - Pathfinder) and analyzing it for trends. I learned to program in IDL, Fortran, and Python at NASA. I also work with climate models that simulation Martian weather systems and dust storms. I'm nearly done with my first project that I'm lead author on using these tools.
On the side, I love competitive Racquetball, reading, and playing with my puppy. Alex and I make a killer doubles team on the court and an even better team off the court. We teach our puppy fancy tricks like jumping over things, going through things, rolling over many times in a row, even ringing bells when she wants to go to the bathroom. When we're not with our dog or on the court, we're probably at Paint Nite San Francisco drinking delicious cocktails and making semi-beautiful artwork.”
On The Global Lead Channel, you will be able to ask Courtney questions, read her posts, and hopefully soon, view her videos on different aspects of her work and passions. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On her own time, she spreads the word about women in science and uses her voice to encourage young women in STEM fields. She can also do local visits, talks, interviews, and informational sessions in person and via the web! The Global Lead looks forward to sharing all of these with our global readers!