The Graduation and Future Plans Post! / by Adeene Denton

Hi everyone!

For those who may be interested in my future plans, this is the blog post for you! Not a funny post, but it should be informative!

What am I doing right now?

I am happy (but also kind of sad and melancholy) to graduate from Rice University and start my next five years getting a PhD at Brown University in Planetary Science. This blog will hopefully detail my research exploits as well as any travel updates, science fun facts, and my flawless opinions on movies.  My starting project may be on early Mars glacial history, but that may also change fairly quickly.


                                         A Rice student in her natural habitat.

                                         A Rice student in her natural habitat.

What am I doing this summer? 

I was awarded the Garside Prize in History from the Rice history department, which allows me to pursue my dream of hiking through Europe looking at its history, its rocks, and how the two interact. So, for the month of June I will be traveling Europe, starting in Lofoten, a Norwegian Archipelago north of the Arctic Circle, before traveling further south to Molde, Oslo, and Stockholm. After that I will be headed to the Italian Dolomites, from Bolzano to Cortina and down to Venice. I plan to study the geologic background of these areas, try to understand the regional cultural history, and integrate the two together.  I will hopefully write several blog posts about my adventures, so stay tuned in late June and July!  All I have to record my adventures are my field notebooks and my iPhone, so hoping for the best.  

After my European historio-geologic adventure, I will be headed to Brown to start research. Additionally, I will be working through the Beyonce Lemonade syllabus, available here ( to become a better intersectional feminist and citizen of the world.

What do I want to do after my PhD?

I get asked this a lot, and I don't really know.

Or rather, I do know, but I don't know if I can do it or if it's possible. I would like to a) become an astronaut, b) work for NASA in some other planetary science/research-related capacity, or c) become a professor - but also fight for gender and racial equality in the sciences, which is something the world still sorely lacks. I get told quite often that to succeed I can't make waves by acknowledging this sort of thing, but I remain hopeful for my career and for the future.  Check in with me in five years - hopefully I'll be doing planetary science and still dreaming of scraping up chunks of the Moon and Mars to study myself.

What else do I plan to do?

Much more activism! I plan to work with the Women's Center at Brown as well as the LGBTQA+ organizations to keep spreading awareness of minorities' issues in science, academia, and the world at large. I hope to do much more writing, make more art through dance and poetry, and become who I always wanted to be - someone who can make the world a better place.

How did I walk out of college more hopeful than I came in? No idea, but I'm looking forward to doing more, saying more, and learning more.

What's the best way to keep track of me?

Honestly, through Twitter or email. I update Twitter fairly frequently with my plans and opinions, so that's a good way to find me - @spacewhalerider. I am happy to talk to people at any time! Blog posts here will hopefully come monthly, but depend mostly on the frequency with which interesting things happen in my life. 

To my friends - I love you all, I hope that I will make you proud as I continue to get through this thing called life.

That's all for now - wish me luck, and send me grant money to do more cool science!

(Just kidding. But if you do want to give me a grant - that would be great...)