William Otto Balmer is a Ph.D, science journalist, and author. They study “These blessed candles of the night”1
They are a Ph.D candidate at the Johns Hopkins University (Piscataway land), studying in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. They are a Johns Hopkins University George Owen Fellow, and were the Maryland Space Grant Consortium Observatory Fellow for the 2022-23 academic year. They conduct research at the Space Telescope Science Institute, advised by Laurent Pueyo, and with collaborators across the globe in order to understand the growth, evolution, and composition of giant planets, brown dwarfs, and very low mass stars. They graduated from Amherst College (Nonotuck land) in May 2021 with a Bachelors of Arts in Astronomy and Physics, receiving a departmental recommendation for summa cum laude honors based on their thesis research. You can find their academic site online at wbalmer.github.io.
They write for Astrobites, the astro-ph reader’s digest. They also freelance as a science journalist, with articles in The Planetary Society (e.g. this one). They maintain a list of articles on their academic webpage, but a portfolio can be supplied to interested editors upon request. They were previously the Astronomy Editor for the Amherst STEM Network magazine.
Outside their academic career, they enjoy fiddling with hypertext games and writing fiction. They co-directed a theatre production of LOL: A Modern Computer Farce at the Shoebox Theater in their hometown Portland, OR (Multnomah/Clackamas land) where they worked for a garden and landscaping company before attending college. They live with their cat, Morgoth.
Last updated: Sept. 24th, 2023