Did you have a role model that influenced your decision to become a scientist?
I did not have a specific role model. I just grew up loving science and had a lot of teachers and others who encouraged my passion.
What is your scientific background?
I am currently an astrobiology student at Wellesley College with practical experience working in Siberia and labs on campus.
Why did you choose to become a scientist?
Because I am fascinated by the world around me and seeking answers to unknown questions.
How did you choose your field of study?
I have taken courses in many science disciplines and biology has always remained my favorite area of study. I am fascinated by the study of life on other planets.
Which topic are you working on at the moment?
I run an international nonprofit that mentors thousands of students and also provides inspiration to many people. TheMarsGeneration.org is a unique organization that works to educate and excite kids and adults about space and STEAM. I have also encouraged and given advice to thousands of students through email, social media, and public speaking.
What (or who) motivated you in difficult times?
In difficult times I am motivated by my passion for science and discovery and my plans for my future. I look at what I hope to accomplish and that gives me strength to get through the current challenge.
In ten years, what do you hope to have accomplished in terms of your work?
I hope to have been accepted as a member of the NASA astronaut corps.
Do you come from an academic family?
How does your family regard your career choice?
My family supports me 100%!
Besides your scientific interests, what are your personal interests?
I love to dance, do a lot of sports, but also read and knit in my spare time.
Is it hard to manage both career and private life? How do you manage both?
It requires a lot of structure and discipline. I work to protect my private life and free time as much as possible.
If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?
Slow down and make sure to breathe. There is time to accomplish your dreams, don’t overextend and/or burn yourself out.
Check out Abby’s inspiring TED talk!
You can learn more about Abby’s amazing work at www.astronautabby.com.