Rachel Bowyer
Research

Currently, I work with Dave Brain studying the atmospheric ion escape on Mars using MAVEN data.

For my first few years at CU Boulder I studied cosmology with Jeremy Darling.  Specifically, I thought about the large-scale, correlated motions of galaxies and how that was related to cosmological phenomena.

Previously, as an undergrad, I worked with Lindsay King at the University of Texas at Dallas and Regina Jorgenson at the Maria Mitchell Observatory to use weak gravitational lensing maps to study dark matter in galaxy clusters.

Science Policy

Recently I've become very interested in using data and evidence to develop policy.  In the summer of 2021, I did a ~2 month fellowship with the Colorado State Senate, called the Colorado Science & Engineering Policy Fellowship, working on evidence-based criminal justice reform.  I had and incredible time collaborating with state legislators, advocacy groups, and other incredible STEM students.  I would strongly recommend the fellowship to anyone who is interested in science policy.  Here’s a short article about it where I contributed a quote.

Accessibility in Teaching / Teaching Professional Development

In the Summer of 2019, I worked on a project to revamp the introductory astronomy for non-majors (ASTR 1010) lab manual to be more accessible to people with a range of abilities.  Here's an article published about this work in the CU newsletter.  I started this project as part of my role as the department's Lead Teaching Assistant, which is a great job to have as someone interested in developing their teaching skills, info here.

Outreach

Through CU's Sommers-Bausch Observatory (SBO) I've had a lot of opportunities to do astronomy public outreach.  One of the things that I've worked on that's I'm most proud of is the Multiculturalism at the Observatory bilingual English/Spanish program that a few other grads and I lead.

Contact

For Prospective Graduate Students: I'm happy to chat if you're interested in my research or if you're wondering what grad school is like at CU Boulder -- just email me.

For Undergrads: I'm happy to chat if you'd like to hear more about the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) at the Maria Mitchell Observatory, if you’d like to get involved with outreach at SBO, or if you have questions about deciding to go to/applying for graduate school at CU or elsewhere -- just email me.