This occasional series focuses on members of the Frontier Fields team. It highlights the individuals, their jobs, and the paths they took to get to where they are today.
Tricia Royle, senior program coordinator, answers questions about her role on the Frontier Fields program and the path she took to get there.
What does a typical day on the job entail? What are your responsibilities?
When astronomers are granted time on Hubble, their program is assigned to a program coordinator to make sure the observations are feasible and schedulable on the telescope. When problems occur any time between acceptance and execution, it’s the program coordinator who helps get problems resolved. We act as liaisons between the various groups at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) — science, operations, scheduling — and the observers — principal investigators and co-investigators. I tend toward the large-scale and long-term observations like Frontier Fields.
What specifically is your educational background?
I have a BSc in physics and astronomy from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and I have taken postgraduate courses in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
What particularly interested you in school or growing up? What were your favorite subjects?