Susan Nossal

Position title: Director


Susan has been with the Physics Learning Center (PLC) since it was founded in the early 2000’s.  It is a privilege to work with PLC students and staff!  She greatly enjoys working with PLC participants and tutors and supporting them in reaching their academic and professional dreams.  She also works as a scientist studying atmospheric physics and climate. Please contact her if you would like to talk about climate change.   Outside of work, Susan enjoys spending time outdoors, volunteering with community organizations focused on climate change, gardening in the Eagle Heights community garden, and spending time with family and friends.

Akire Trestrail


Akire has been affiliated with the PLC since 2011. He first became a tutor in 2001, which culminated in him teaching physics at a community college in Northern California before moving to Wisconsin to pursue his PhD in Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin. Akire is extremely passionate about sharing the knowledge and joys of science with others.

Chris Moore


While growing up in Chile, Chris became interested in astronomy, solar energy, and the nature of things.  He is passionate about creating a welcoming, inclusive, and active learning environment for all students as they work hard to learn physics concepts and how they relate to the world we live in. He likes to do yoga, bike, hike, kayak, camp in wilderness settings, and observe the wonders of the night sky.  Chris believes in bringing about change through participation in our democracy and continues to learn how to live with the effects of climate change.

Eric Hooper


Eric Hooper is a research astronomer (basically physics applied to “up there”) with interests in the supermassive black holes in the centers of distant galaxies.  He likes to ski, travel, write, photograph, and is fascinated by dinosaurs and volcanoes.

Laura Ocampo Alzate

Position title: Learning Center Instructor


Laura got her B.S in physics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her M.S in astrophysics from California State University, LA. With an interest in community astrophysics, her personal mission is to make physics more accessible to everyone. She always welcomes conversations about anything, from astronomy to hot dogs! Other hobbies include watching true-crime and being active.