About Me

Sondy Alessondra Springmann viewing Arecibo Observatory from the telescope control room

My name is Alessondra Springmann, though most people call me Sondy.  I’m a writer, planetary astronomer, and sailor, currently at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory working on a PhD in planetary sciences in support of the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.  Living in the Southwest of the United States affords ample opportunities to study terrestrial analogues of planetary geology.

Sondy Alessondra Springmann mimicking Delicate Arch at Arches National Park

I worked for two years at Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico after living in Accra, San Francisco, Tokyo, Boston, Jerusalem, Pasadena, and Socorro.  I grew up in Point Reyes, part of the western part of Marin County – an hour north of San Francisco on the Pacific coast. I received my master’s in Earth & Planetary Science from MIT in June 2011, and was recently profiled by the alum office.  I’m a First Global.

“Stringing together a series of adventures makes for a rich life.”  —Richard G. French

Sometimes I discuss why protecting Earth from killer space potatoes and space avocados is important.

I spent the summer of 2012 teaching entrepreneurship and mobile application technologies to university students in Ghana, and the summer of 2011 working on supercooled water and anti-icing coats at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Japan.

My master’s thesis topic was on magma ocean solidification and comparing meteorite compositions to that of Earth’s mantle.  When I’m not reading papers on isotopes of neodymium, running models to form Earth’s D” layer, or zapping potentially hazardous asteroids with 20 terawatts of radar, I enjoy running, hiking, sailing, SCUBA diving, canyoneering, and baking crème brûlée.

I took a year off from graduate school: during this time I tutored mathematics and physics to college and high school students, served on the board of directors of a non-profit sailing organization, and wrote for PC World.

In summer 2010 I taught computer science and business skills to Palestinian and Israeli high school students in Jerusalem through an MIT program, Middle East Education through Technology (MEET).  I chronicled some of our adventures in teaching and traveling here.

Recently I worked on the thermal histories of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites and implications for the orbital histories of asteroids and rock comets, in situ resource utilization of asteroid materials, condensation processes in the solar nebula, and preserving the primitive nature of material returned from asteroid Bennu by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

My CV is available for your perusal, and you can view my profile on LinkedIn.

I’d also love to hear from you! You can contact me by emailing sondy@sondy.com and I’ll be glad to respond.

If you’d like to support my doctoral student career, I have a wishlist, and you can also help pay for cat food, household items, and healthcare deductibles via either cash.me/sondy or paypal.me/sondy. Thank you!

And since this is the Internet, have a photo of a cat I used to foster on my head.  I am a professional cat herder as well as an astronomer.

Squeakazoid knows how to get ahead in the cuteness game

3 thoughts on “About Me

  1. YAY lasers! Sailboats that is.. maybe LASERs too. I’m an undergrad from Joe Harrington’s group- I’ve really enjoyed cruising around your site!!

  2. Alessondra, you are a hero of mine. I applaud your work, drive, and direction! Thank you for being a great example for women in STEM.

    -Georgina, MS Bioengineering

Leave a Reply