Former Trinity Catholic College student inspires with NASA success story

A former pupil of Dunedin’s Trinity Catholic College, now a NASA scientist, returned to his alma mater to inspire students to follow their passion.

Hamish Prince, who graduated from college in 2014, recently spoke to students about his journey from Dunedin to NASA.

Prince, a graduate research assistant in atmospheric science, shared how his love for fieldwork and the outdoors led him to a career at NASA.

“I didn’t really know what I wanted to do … I knew I liked field work and being outside” he told the students.

After completing a geography degree at the University of Otago and a master’s degree, Prince received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue his PhD at the University of Wisconsin. This opportunity paved the way for his involvement with NASA.

Working on the Prefire Mission

For the past three years, Prince has been part of the science team working on NASA’s Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-Infrared Experiment (Prefire) Mission.

This project involves launching two small satellites to study Earth’s radiant energy, crucial for understanding sea ice loss and polar warming.

“There are big changes happening in our world, and we want to be measuring them so we know how they are changing and what we can do to stop these changes” Prince explained.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Prince emphasised that he never planned to work for NASA but simply followed his interests.

“I never had the goal of becoming a scientist on a NASA project. I just followed my nose and did what I enjoyed. If you do something that you enjoy, then it won’t feel like work and it’ll just come naturally.”

Prince is set to complete his PhD next year and plans to return to Dunedin to continue exploring where his passion will lead him next.


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News category: New Zealand.

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