Meet: Erin Genovese
Experiment Support Scientist
NASA Ames Research Center
What I do:
I am an Experiment Support Scientist for a shuttle payload called Neurolab.
My job is to help design and develop the experiments that are scheduled
for this payload. I am also very involved in coordination of the ground
control experiments that occur at Kennedy Space Center during the mission.
I have had the opportunity to train the crew members that will be performing
the experiments in orbit. My job mostly requires great organizational
skills, a good solid biology background, and a high tolerance for working
to near future deadlines.
My Career Journey
I had a BS and an MS in microbiology and worked in field research for
about a year and a half. I really wanted a job that was related to science
but I did not want to continue doing research. The advertisement for this
job sounded like a perfect fit.
Preparation for Career
As a child I liked to rearrange things. I rearranged my bookshelves,
my room, my closet, etc. I like to make sense of things that were not
in order. It is pretty clear that I was born with my logistical/organizational
skills. I grew up in a house out in the country, so I spent a lot of time
outside, in nature. The plants and wildlife were all around me and impossible
to ignore. I suppose that environment encouraged my love of biological
systems and life sciences.
My high school biology teacher and my major professor in graduate school.
Likes/Dislikes about career
working with a great staff
opportunity to see the launch and landing of the shuttle at KSC
meeting the crew members for our mission (all great people)
challenge of dealing with a big logistical puzzle
opportunity to travel for meetings and launch support
working with scientists from all over the world
extended travel for launch support (approx. 3 months for Neurolab)
high pressure deadlines
A young person interested in pursuing a career like mine should concentrate
on good writing skills. It is absolutely critical that you present your
ideas and thoughts in a clear and understandable manner. A strong biology
background and good computer skills are important too. It is also good
to have experience working with international people.
I'm from a small town in Illinois. I have lived in the bay area for
about 3 1/2 years. I did farm labor and worked in a record store during
high school. I worked in the housing office at my university during college.
I'm an identical twin (she is an admissions counselor at a private university).
I don't have kids. I do have fish. My father is an actor on TV. My mother
is a stained glass artist.
I rollerblade, bike, and hike when I want to play outdoors. I read,
go to movies, and decorate my house when I want play indoors.