Matt VarakianGraduate Student NMSUAstronomy
I’m a first-year grad student here at NMSU! As an undergrad, I focused on modeling exoplanet observations from the ground with the goal of determining our ability to perform follow-up observations on planets detected by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. I’ve also done a couple observing runs at Lick Observatory to perform visible and near IR spectroscopy of a variety of targets (satellites, supernovae, novae, and asteroids). At NMSU, I’m working with Dr. Nancy Chanover as part of the Planetary Group and we are currently putting our efforts toward the development and demonstration of a plasmonic spectrometer that would be used for the in situ characterization of solar system surfaces and the identification of volatiles.
Teaching and Outreach Activities
Fall 2018 – ASTR 305V Life in the Universe TA