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Emilie Skoog



Address: University of Southern California, Department of Earth Sciences

825 Bloom Walk, ACB 302

Los Angeles, California 90089-0740



      Beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap of Iceland, three subglacial lakes contain microbial communities thriving in a highly sulfuric and extremely carbonated environment. In May of 2015, water samples were collected from two separate lakes and returned for biochemical analysis and metagenomic sequencing. My role within this project is to (1) maintain these microbes obtained through previous enrichments through bi-monthly transfers, (2) use geochemical assays and instrumentation to test for the ability of the microbes to engage in their theorized metabolisms, and to (3) isolate new microbial species from the enrichment cultures. By researching these microbes, we can hypothesize how possible microbial communities may be capable of surviving on planets with similar icy environmental conditions, such as Europa or Mars.



University of Southern California, B.S. in Biological Sciences, B.A. in Earth Sciences, 2018





  1. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Astrobiogeochemistry Lab Researcher (2017)

    • Designed and carried out Mars 2020 sample simulant tests to create a standard extraction and analyzation procedure for organic detection for the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission

    • Used gas chromatography - mass spectrometry to determine the adsorption capacity of aluminum oxide, used in controls for MSR

    • Created a Matlab script to juxtapose found and theoretical results based on experimental design

  2. Amend Astrobiology Lab, Undergraduate Research Assistant  (2016-)

    • Researching metabolic processes of bacteria extremophiles from Icelandic subglacial lakes

    • SOAR Research Grant recipient

  3. NASA Kennedy Space Center NIFS/OSSI Intern, VEGGIE Team Researcher (2016)

    • Developed and analyzed optimal LED light recipe for plant growth for longer duration spaceflight missions

    • Became first person on earth to examine viability of zinnia plants’ seeds returned from the ISS, following Astronaut Scott Kelly’s packaging of them

    • Developed personal side project examining effects of a magnetic field on rate of plant growth

  4. Lund University Department of Biology, Research Assistant (2015)

    • Researched effects of telomerase within E. coli on aging

    • Acquired laboratory techniques and skills – DNA purification, nanodrop spectrophotometer, SDS-PAGE

    • Safely performed experiments utilizing toxic and carcinogenic chemicals 

  5. Sport Medicine and Emergency Specialist Doctor, Assistant (2013)

    • Prepared and administered vaccinations and checked blood pressure

    • Communicated with patients in French to promote a comfortable environment for the patient

  6. Centre De Kinésithérapie, Physical Therapist Assistant ​(2012)

    • Mastered function and operations of rehabilitation machines

    • Led children and adults through series of rehabilitation exercises

    • Acquired kinesiology support taping and wrapping skills

2010 - present

2010 - present




  1. California Science Center Exhibit Development Volunteer (2015)

    • Reconstructed Ranger VII spacecraft alongside JPL engineers

    • Rapidly acquired skills in disparate technical tasks such as reading JPL technical reports and conceptualizing space mechanics

    • Developed strong observational and interpersonal communication skills with engineers and other volunteers

  2. Special Olympic World Games - Medical Team Member (2015)

    • Assisted 6 professional staff with treating seizures, concussions, dehydration, taping, and icing

    • Served as medical interpreter for injured Senegalese, French, and Swedish athletes

    • Delegated and fulfilled tasks for smooth operation of the largest Track and Field medical tent

  3. University of Southern California Office of Residential Education, Resident Assistant (2015)

    • Mentor 40 freshman students by building relationships with them, listening to issues, and offering advice

    • Cultivate community and enforce policy by planning events and responding to emergency calls

  4. WiSE n’ Dine Club Co-founder(2016)

    • Co-founded the club in efforts to inspire undergraduate women in STEM and create networking opportunities with leading women in the STEM field

    • Book venues and caterers

    • Recruit speakers and advertise to USC students

  5. Dornsife College Ambassador (2014)

    • Correspond with incoming students and families to provide guidance and information regarding admission

    • Interview students for scholarships and organize weekly meetings

  6. Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) Fundraiser(2008)

    • Founded Emilie and Kadyn’s Mission and raised approximately $37,000 for the PBTF

    • Titled 4th largest fundraiser for the PBTF in 2012

    • Present the PBTF on public radio broadcasts and deliver presentations to clubs and organizations

  7. USC Judo Club, Philanthropy and Fundraising Chair(2014-2015)

    • Organized and volunteered at events and organizations (ex. LA Kidney walk)

    • Managed the club’s budget

    • Assisted in running tournaments and keeping score for each match

  8. USC Juggling Club, Vice President(2015-)

    • Assist in organizing club practices and recruiting members

    • Teach beginners how to cascade with three balls

  9. Wellness Advocate (2015-)

    • Lead and teach mindful movement exercises

    • Promote wellness across the USC campus through mindful movement and meditation training

    • Confidentially counsel USC students in the USC’s health center wellness lounge



  • Roth-Johnson, Perry. "Volunteers Restore Smithsonian's Ranger Spacecraft in Los Angeles." Smithsonian Affiliate: 1-3. Fall 2015. Print.

    • Interviewed and quoted in a published article in the Smithsonian Affiliate Fall 2015 Newsletter regarding my involvement in the assembly of the Ranger VIII spacecraft



  • AAUW- Tech Savvy STEM Conference (2015)

    • Led a panel discussion for 5th – 8th girls

    • Answered questions on importance of women in STEM

    • Excited young girls by presenting possibilities for careers in STEM.



  • Student Opportunity of Academic Research (SOAR) Grant (2016)

  • USC Resident Assistant of the Year Nominee   (2016)

  • NASA NIFS Intern of the Year Nominee (2016)


  • Swedish (fluent)

  • French (fluent)

  • Spanish (conversational)

  • Latin (conversational)


  • Blood Borne Pathogen Training (2016)

  • General Lab Safety (2016)

  • CPR and AED Certified (2015)

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