I am a Senior Research Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio and a Co-Investigator for the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) research network at Arizona State University. I study elements in stars near to the Sun and the chemical interplay between stars and their planets -- or how the element abundances impact the structure and mineralogy of planets. I also look at general abundance trends within the solar neighborhood with respect to physical stellar properties. I put together a multidimensional catalog of stellar element abundances called the Hypatia Catalog. It's an online database to explore physical and chemical stellar data as well as planetary properties: www.hypatiacatalog.com.
Far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, life was wild, rich and largely tax free. Mighty starships plied their way between exotic suns, seeking adventure and reward among the furthest reaches of Galactic space. In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. And all dared to brave unknown terrors, to do mighty deeds, to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before--and thus was the Empire forged.
...In these enlightened days, of course, no one believes a word of it. -- Douglas Adams