Riley Troyer

Riley Troyer

Physics Teaching Assistant

When I first joined the SPS chapter at the University of Alaska Fairbanks there were only a handful of students involved and the group wasn't very active. However, over the next three years, through hard work and dedication, we significantly expanded the chapter and became very active in the local community and broader SPS community. Over this time, I got more and more involved in the chapter. Starting as PR Officer, then VP, and finally President during my last year. Now that I have finished undergrad I can definitively say that joining SPS was one of the best decision I have ever made. 

During my three years with SPS I helped organize a trip to PhysCon 2016, which was the first time an Alaskan chapter had ever travelled out of state, for any event. I created an annual astronomy event, which became incredible popular in the Fairbanks community. I help unite the two SPS chapter in Alaska. And as one of my best experiences, served as one of the 2017 SPS national interns, where I worked in science policy for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Finally during my last semester, I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 SPS Congressional Visit day and talk to national politicians about SPS and physics related issues. 

Currently, I am pursuing a Ph.D. in space physics (think upper atmosphere, aurora, space weather, etc.) at the University of Iowa. However, after graduating I would like to go into science policy, so that I can use my knowledge to help inform policy makers and improve how science is seen and used in the country.