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Carissa L

- Research Program Mentor

Industry expert at University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)


Astrophysics, Physics, Mathematics, Photography, Art


I specialize in astrophysics. My research has been most prominently focused on stars and the dynamics of star clusters. While I love astronomy and all the people I have had the opportunity to work with, astrophysics is oftentimes a very specialized and inaccessible field. My goal is to make astrophysics more obtainable for those who seek to both ask and answer questions. Some other things I enjoy doing: sketching, running, photography, playing the ukulele...I have a lot of hobbies and occasionally work on freelance photography and digital art projects. I always love working with others on art as well and finding unique ways to combine art with science.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Detecting Light Pollution with Astrophotography

Light pollution is easy to observe if you have ever been both inside and outside of a city. It affects everything from animal migration to our ability to clearly see stars. But how do we quantify light pollution? Photography is a way to capture photons—units of light. With consistent observations and some calibration, we can determine how much light affects various regions.

Coding skills

Python, HTML, image processing

Languages I know

Spanish, conversational

Teaching experience

Eight years ago, I began tutoring math as an instructor at Mathnasium. I had the opportunity to interact with students of all ages and really enjoyed helping students fine-tune their skills over time. While living in Berkeley, I worked with local middle and high schoolers both in-person and remotely. I have also worked with Curiosity Crew to deliver online astronomy lessons to fifth-grade classrooms.


Work experience

Curiosity Crew (2021 - 2021)
Mathnasium (2015 - 2018)
NovaStar Prep (2022 - Current)


University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
BA Bachelor of Arts (2021)

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