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About Nicole

Hi, my name is Nicole Gaynor and I am a recovering scientist. More accurately, I found that I am good at research, but my interests are much too varied to confine myself to a subfield of atmospheric sciences. Class by class, I defected to journalism to begin using my knack for written language and experience in research to inform and entertain a diverse audience.

I grew up near Milwaukee, Wis., surrounded by lake-effect snow, hard-as-diamonds ground water from the limestone bedrock, and the beautiful Kettle Moraine left over from the last ice age. As a child, I dreamed that I would one day go to the University of Wisconsin in Madison and earn double doctorates. I made it there, graduated in four years, and then continued my studies for another six and a half years at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. A little more than ten years of college netted me four degrees: one bachelor’s, two master’s, and a Ph.D. and convinced me that one doctorate was enough.

I gained experience communicating with scientific and non-scientific audiences through course work, research, and working in public affairs at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. I also began to work with visual media like photography and graphic design to accompany my writing. A sample of my written work is collected in my portfolio. Hallmarks of my work are the ability to figure out darn near anything and convey information artfully and accurately. After NCSA, I returned to computer programming, which I've been doing personally and professionally since 2000.

Outside of formal studies, I picked up Japanese jujitsu in 2009 and powerlifting in 2011. Since both of these are demanding of body dynamics and energy, I became interested in exercise and nutrition as means to protect myself from the hazards of an active lifestyle. My husband and I both love to cook. The food just tastes better than store-bought and restaurant meals. Our latest culinary adventures involve finding mushy foods to feed our 11-month-old twins (as of August 2016).