Dr. Carl Ferkinhoff
Gustavus Adolphus College, BA, Physics 2001
Cornell University, MS, Astronomy, 2011
Cornell University, PhD, Astronomy, 2014
I am an astronomer working to understand how galaxies earlier in the history of the universe have changed and evolved to produce the universe we see today. More specifically I study the gas, dust and stars in these early galaxies using emission lines that are visible at submillimeter wavelengths. I also have interests in astronomical instrumentation, building the instruments and hardware that let us make the observations of theses galaxies. Much of this work is done with collaborators at Cornell University, Georgia Southern University and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany. Students are involved in both the observation and instrumentation projects depending on their interests.
Originally from near St. Cloud, MN I earned my undergraduate degree in Physics from Gustavus in St. Peter, MN. From there I moved to Baltimore, MD to study teaching and teach high school physics and chemistry through Teach For America. Learning that I loved teaching, but missed doing research and advanced physics I choose to pursue a PhD in astronomy. After a couple of years in Germany for a postdoc I found myself back in the great state of Minnesota as an Assistant Professor at WSU!
In addition to my research interests I am passionate about preparing excellent future science teachers, use of student centered methods of instruction, and providing equitable and just learning opportunities for all students. For fun I fish, read, sing and occasionally karaoke.