Alysia Marino
University of Colorado Boulder, United States

I have spent far more time in mines than I ever would have imagined, working on various physics experiments. Descending into the earth at 20 miles per hour while standing inside a dark metal box that is attached to a mile-long steel cable does take some getting used to. For six years, I was a graduate student doing research with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Canada, which required periodic trips to Sudbury – and below. Being a graduate student on the SNO experiment at the time when we made a Nobel Prize-winning discovery was incredible. As a postdoc I worked on the MINOS experiment: I spent a lot of time 350 feet underground to work on the MINOS near detector at Fermilab, and I even had a chance to see the MINOS far detector, located a half mile underground at the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Minnesota. I also have visited the former Homestake Mine, which now houses the Sanford Underground Research Facility, the future home of the DUNE far detectors. I expect to spend more time underground in the future with DUNE. With my research I want to help answer some of the biggest and most fundamental questions in the universe. I always liked knowing how things work.