Amanda Heiderman

I Just Walked Up To Him And Said I Want To Be An Astronomer

After taking a high school class in astronomy, Amanda Heiderman was asked what she was going to do for a job. "I didn't really know the answer but I said I was going to work on astronomy because I enjoyed that class so much."

Amanda grew up in Carson City, Nevada and went to Western Nevada Community College. "I found a physics professor and walked up to him and said, ‘I want to be an astronomer.' Apparently, people just don't do that." He became her mentor for the rest of her time there.

She soon went on to University of California at Berkeley and now is at the University of Texas at Austin as a graduate student.

In her free time, Amanda is a "live music junkie. I love going downtown and listening to all of the bands. When I can get out of town, I like to go biking and camping." She also makes Halloween costumes for herself and her friends. "I don't get to use the creative side of my brain very much so this is a good way to do that."

When asked what she misses most about Nevada she replied her family, who lives near Lake Tahoe. She also misses how Nevada had all four seasons. "In winter we had snow, and it was hot in the summer, but it cooled off at night."

Amanda's favorite part about astronomy is that she gets to travel and meet new people. "I can travel to telescopes and work side by side with people from all over the world and that's amazing. I'm not stuck in one town."

Amanda Heiderman
Graduate Student, Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin
B.A., Astrophysics, University of California at Berkeley