Hypatia Meraviglia: Mapping Titan

Despite the limitations of remote work, my internship allowed me to establish professional connections with a number of NASA scientists asking intriguing questions. Most connections are centered in Goddard Code 600 (Solar System Division), although a few scientists and engineers hail from other divisions. I hope to return to Code 600 in person next summer to meet and work alongside these scientists and engineers.

Halfway through the internship, my mentor recommended I add a new goal: presenting at the Titan Through Time V conference in addition to the standard Goddard intern symposium. I was able to present my work, discuss it with Titan specialists and non-specialists, listen to others’ presentations, and gain more perspective on my work over the summer. Although I’ve presented at small poster sessions and meetings, Titan Through Time V was first true presentation at a conference!  I was nervous and grateful for the experience.

I met most of my goals for this project, adapted those that became infeasible, and took on new opportunities as they arose. In retrospect, I wish I had developed my programming skills (especially Python and terminal!) before beginning this internship; I believe I could have been more scientifically productive with just a bit more experience. Being able to chat with other Goddard interns helped me immensely over the course of the summer; I struggled with imposter syndrome and concerns about lagging progress, but sharing stories and burdens with others in similar straits mitigated those worries. I’m hopeful that, if I can return to intern at NASA next summer, it will be in person and with a more adept skill set.