I am a fourth year astronomy graduate student at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Having completed my coursework, I now spend most of my time on research and as a teaching assistant. In collaboration with Michael B. Lund, Josh Pepper, and my research P.I. Keivan G. Stassun, I worked on calculating yield and characterization estimates for exoplanetary recoverabilty using the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Most recently I have been focusing on entering the field of gravitational microlensing. I am actively collaborating with Geoff Bryden, Yossi Shvartzvald, and Sebastiano Calchi Novati at NASA JPL and Caltech/IPAC in order to determine the near-infrared microlensing detetion efficiency and event rate near the Galactic Bulge with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). These calculations can then be used to inform design specifications and field chocies for the upcoming Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). In the long term, my goal is to become a professor/staff scientist, and to educate the public (particularly America's youth and underrepresented minorities) about the importance of STEM fields and the space industry to our country's future success.
Savannah R. Jacklin
Physics and Astronomy Department
Vanderbilt University PMB 401807
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-1807 USA
Ph.D in Astrophysics • Will Complete in May 2020
I am currently working towards my PhD in Astrophysics at Vanderbilt University via a Visiting Graduate Research Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. My research focus is determining the microlensing detection efficiency and event rate near the Galactic bulge using UKIRT in preparation for WFIRST.
M.A. in Physics • May 2017
I completed my Master's degree in Physics via the Fisk-Vanderbilt Masters-to-PhD Program. Graduate courses that I have
- Advanced Dynamics
- Mathematical Methods for Physicists
- Stellar Astrophysics
- Order of Magnitude Astrophysics
- Advanced Electrodynamics
- Radiative Processes in Astrophysics
- Quantum Mechanics
- The Structure and Dynamics of Galaxies
- Structure Formation in the Universe
B.S in Astronomy & Astrophysics; Minor in Physics • May 2015
I completed my bachelor of science degree at Villanova University in Astronomy & Astrophysics with a minor in Physics.
Visiting Graduate Research Fellow • February 2019 - Present
A continuation of my PhD research, my fellowship at IPAC has me focused on determining the UKIRT Microlensing Survey detection efficiency and event rate at the Galactic bulge as a function of field. The results of this research make up the bulk of my PhD thesis.
Graduate Research Assistant • July 2015 - Present
My project as a graduate research assistant at Vanderbilt University utilizes the UKIRT telescope to determine the
near-infrared microlensing detection efficiency and event rate near the Galactic bulge. Much of this project has been undertaken at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and IPAC/Caltech.
My previous work uses LSST to determine transiting exoplanet detection for a variety of types of exoplanets and host star masses
(See Transiting Planets with LSST. III. Detection Rate per Year of Operation).
My additional interests for future studies include gravitational microlensing simulations with WFIRST, extragalactic exoplanet detection, transiting exocomet detection with WFIRST, and gravitational microlensing with WFIRST and LSST.
Graduate Intern• June 2017 - September 2018
For the past two summers I have worked for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory using the UKIRT gravitational microlensing survey to determine the NIR microlensing detection efficiency and event rate near the Galactic center, with a specific focus on exoplanetary anomaly detection.
Graduate Teaching Assistant • August 2017 - May 2018
I taught an undergraduate lab titled "Introdution to Nighttime Astronomy" where I introduce my students to a variety of materials, including basics in stellar, galactic, and hands-on observational astronomy.
National Science Foundation REU Student • May 2014 - May 2015
As an NSF REU student, I was worked on the period detection of exoplanets using LSST. My software infrastructure simulates transiting exoplanet lightcurves for LSST and analyzes them for periodicity in order to determine future yields and preliminary characterizations of exoplanetary bodies orbiting 1 solar mass hosts. (See Transiting Planets with LSST. II. Period Detection of Planets Orbiting 1 Solar Mass Hosts).
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant • August 2012 - May 2015
I worked as an astronomy lab research assistant for most of my undergraduate career. My responsibilities included answering questions, grading papers, tutoring, and teaching various astronomical concepts to non-astronomy majors at Villanova University.
Observatory Assistant • August 2011 - May 2015
Throughout my time at Villanova University I worked as an observatory assistant for the school's 14" public telescope. It was my job to both physically operate the telescope as well as to educate visiting students, professors, and members of the surrounding community on the motions and particulars of the stars and planets.
As a lifelong student of astronomy and the physical sciences, I have had the opportunity to expand upon
and develop skills in and pertaining to several areas of research:
-LSST, UKIRT, and WFIRST
Presented a poster on the period recoverability of hot Jupiters with LSST as a function of year of observation.Waikaloa, HI
Attended the LSST All Hands meeting to learn about project and construction updates and to share my work on transiting exoplanet detection with LSST.Phoenix, AZ
Attended the Communicating Science National Workshop at Harvard University with a personal focus on astronomy education and outreach.Boston, MA
Attended a conference for graduate students interested in exoplanetary science where I gave a talk on exoplanet detection per year of observation with LSST..Ithaca, NY
Travelled to CTIO in Chile for an observing run in support of K2's Campaign 9 Microlensing mission.CTIO, Chile
Attended the 21st international microlensing conference and tutorial workshop.Pasadena, CA
Spent the summer of 2017 working at NASA JPL and Caltech working on developing a microlensing event detection pipeline for the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Microlensing Survey.La Canada Flintridge, CA
Participated in the 2017 Sagan summer workshop at Caltech which was focused on microlensing in the era of WFIRST and included hands-on microlensing training.Pasadena, CA
Travelled home to Nashville, TN to observe the total solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017.Nashville, TN
Presented updates on my research using UKIRT to determine the detection efficiency and event rate of near-infrared microlensing events near the Galactic bulge.Washington, DC
Placed as one of the top 10 finalists in Vanderbilt's university-wide three minute thesis competition.Nashville, TN
Spent a second summer working at NASA JPL and Caltech/IPAC working on developing a microlensing event detection pipeline for the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Microlensing Survey.Pasadena, CA
Attended an intensive workshop on Capitol Hill detailing science policy and best practices for science communication to legislators.Washington, DC
Gave an invited talk on public microlensing analysis tools and survey data.Seattle, WA
Attended the 23rd International Microlensing Meeting and presented updates on the UKIRT Microlensing Survey.New York, NY
Continuation of my PhD project focusing on developing a microlensing event detection pipeline for the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Microlensing Survey.Seattle, WA