Amber Straughn is an astrophysicist at NASA and a member of the James Webb Space Telescope Project Science Team. Straughn grew up in the small farming town of Bee Branch, Arkansas where her fascination with astronomy began under beautifully dark, rural skies. She’s interested in answering big questions about our universe that relate to how galaxies change over time: how important are galaxy interactions in the overall picture of how galaxies grow; and how black holes, star formation, and gas inflows and outflows affect galaxy evolution. These questions are central to NASA’s long-term goal of discovering how the universe works and exploring how it began and evolved. Straughn holds a Ph.D. in physics from Arizona State University and has been involved in NASA programs since her undergrad years, beginning with flying an experiment on NASA’s microgravity KC-135 plane (the “vomit comet”).