About Me

I live in Tucson, Arizona with my husband Nathan and son Matthew. Nathan has a master's degree in Computer Science, and is working on his Ph. D.

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Matthew is an expert in Children's Literature, with a masters in Dr. Seuss.


Calvin Observatory

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Nathan and I graduated in 2010 from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. I studied asteroid dynamics there with Dr. Larry Molnar, and worked as the head observer for the college's two 16-inch telescopes.

I grew up in the small country of Gambia, West Africa, where my father was a missionary doctor for 13 years from 1993 to 2006. I have one sister, Janelle Haegert, who graduated with a degree in film from the University of Michigan.

Melissa and Janelle Gambia

Taking care of Matthew and writing a dissertation is a full-time job, but in my spare time I enjoy biking, reading, writing YA science fiction, and making YouTube science videos for NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission.