Amara Graps, is a planetary astronomer at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, supporting the New Horizons Pluto mission, and studying circum/interplanetary dust charging and dynamics and the origin of water on the terrestrial planets. She just returned to the USA from Europe, where she was in Italy as a researcher at the Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (INAF-IFSI) in Rome, Italy, an astronomy instructor at the American University of Rome, and a PhD student and post-doc at Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany) and the Max Planck Institut fuer Kernphysik (MPI-K). Her work experience since 1982, primarily in astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary science research, was gained from a variety of studies at SwRI, IFSI, MPI-K, NASA-Ames, Stanford University, the University of Colorado, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, she consulted for engineering, computer, and medical companies in Heidelberg and the Silicon Valley working on numerical analysis, technical writing, and WWW site projects. Sometimes she also writes popular astronomy and scientific computing articles. Her present focus is her New Year's baby, but when she has time, her hobbies include bicycle touring, volcanos, Cremona violins, photography, writing, watercolor painting, studying philosophy, and learning languages.
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