It's truly a joy doing this job.

If Erik Brugamyer wasn't an astronomer, he says he'd be a dog trainer. He describes his dog Gus as a "Frisbee dog that does tricks." When he isn't training his somersaulting pet, he also enjoys disc golf, which is a combination of Frisbee and golf. For milder entertainment, Erik says he likes reading.

Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, Erik agrees that he was definitely a stargazer as kid. "I spent a lot of time just staring at the stars and imagining what might be out there. It's what got me hooked."

He's completed both of his bachelor's degrees and his master's at the University of Texas and recently advanced into candidacy for his PhD. "I received a High Pass on the qualifying exam which is a big test. I'm relieved to have it over and I can now call myself an astronomer."

"It's truly a joy doing this job. I wouldn't want to be stuck with an ordinary nine to five." As an observational astronomer, Erik gets to spend nights at the telescope, actually pointing it at the distant light of stars and seeing the project through to the end. "My secret to staying up: coffee."

Erik Brugamyer
PhD Candidate, University of Texas at Austin
BS, University of Texas at Austin, Physics
BA, University of Texas at Austin, Astronomy
MA, University of Texas at Austin, Astronomy