'I would like to work as an astronomy researcher overseas in various observatories...'
Studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy and Physics
Rosemary was inspired by the planets after reading a book by Dava Sobel on the Solar System, and has since made understanding more about the universe her primary interest.
When the opportunity came in her last year of high school to apply for UC’s Aurora Astronomy School, Rosemary joined the 5-day experience on campus and at the Mount John Observatory in Tekapo, learning astrophysics and getting to use modern astronomical equipment.
‘After this, I was thoroughly fascinated by how space worked and decided to explore it further as a part of my Physics study at UC,’ she says.
Having a long-developed love for the sciences, Rosemary’s study is made up of a variety of maths and physics areas. UC was her first choice due to its course offerings and her family being graduates, as well as getting to enrol with a UC Merit Scholarship for her NCEA results.
‘In my degree, I enjoy the diversity of the courses that I take each year – they have different assessment structures, different lecture material and different lecturing styles which makes it easy to enjoy each course individually.
‘I enjoy understanding physical concepts and being able to rationalise different physical situations, and then also being able to explain to my peers how they work.’
In her second year, Rosemary received the New Zealand Institute of Physics Prize for her results in course and laboratory work.
She advises other students in Physics and Astronomy study to persevere with their learning for their interests to be fully realised.
‘People don’t understand physics in a day - it takes months of exposing yourself to different concepts in order to really start to understand how it all works and that takes determination and commitment.’
Being a part of the PhysSoc and MathSoc clubs was a great way for her to gain some extra support, with tutorials and preparation for exams, and discussions organised by their community.
Rosemary is also a member of the SVA, and was a volunteer in the Colour Run event for Christchurch in 2015 as an awesome experience she ‘wouldn’t have otherwise had’.
Outside of UC, Rosemary works part-time as a Filer for Paul Duggan and Associates Accountancy Firm sorting documentation, and with Statistics New Zealand as part of the International Travel Migration team processing departure and arrival data. Her roles are a great way to practice statistical analysis and application in the workplace outside of lectures.
A career travelling the world researching the universe would be ideal after she finishes at UC.
‘I would like to work as an astronomy researcher overseas in various observatories, in places such as America, Chile, Hawaii, and Europe. Otherwise I would like to be a physics researcher or be in a job that uses physics in an unusual way, and maybe eventually a teacher.’