Dr. Aubrie O'Rourke hails from Merced in the Central Valley of California. She was encouraged by her mother from a young age to think outside of the box and indeed she did. She began this in the traditional way by heading to college at UCSD after high school at this time she realized her passion for science and the adventure that studying Marine Science could bring. During her undergraduate years she worked as an aquarium husbandry apprentice helping to breed seahorses, learned animal training through a dolphin training internship with the US Navy and discovered her love of research in the field of marine science. As a result she returned to her hometown of Merced to carry out a Master's degree at UCMerced studying the molecular mechanisms that coral utilize in order to calcify and carried out fieldwork in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
Her adventurous spirit and her grandfather's love of flying led her to save up her money in order to attend flight school in Oahu. One of her most favored memories is flying through a double rainbow on her first cross country solo. Flying gave her the added confidence that she could do anything she set her mind to and one year later with license in hand she moved to Saudi Arabia to attend KAUST for her PhD. There she dove the Red Sea to mine reef organisms for their ability to inhibit viruses. Upon the completion of her PhD and having successfully identified a compound from a marine sponge that was able to inhibit HIV-1, she returned to La Jolla to work at the J.Craig Venter Institute to study infectious disease causing bacteria.
During this time she identified a funding opportunity from NASA and is now funded as a NASA postdoctoral fellow to investigate the potential for virulence and drug resistance of potentially pathogenic bacteria that have been isolated from the potable water system of the International Space Station. At night she takes classes at Miramar community college and has recently completed the instrument ground and flight simulator courses. She learned a great deal from their program and plans to continue to work toward an instrument license. She is a new member of Women in Aviation San Diego chapter and is excited to be among other passionate pilots.
MEMBER OF THE MONTH
Our members including private, charter, corporate, airline and military pilots; student pilots and flight instructors; aerospace engineers; airport managers; General Aviation business staff; flight attendants; air traffic controllers; and aviation enthusiasts.
Dr. Aubrie O'Rourke
Christina - Air Traffic Controller @ SoCAL TRACON
Shea - Navy Aviation Machinist in Officer/Pilot Training
Pamela - Commercial Pilot & Flight Attendant
Cathe - Airport Operations
Jill - Private Pilot, Aerospace Engineer, Air Force Veteran
Allison - UPS Pilot
Bibianna - 13 Years Old and Taking Flying Lessons!
John & Martha - Owners, King Schools
Kaitlin - Navy MH-60S Pilot
Meadow - Airport Manager
Paris - Airline Operations, Air Force Reserve Officer
Julie - Pilot and Flight School Owner
Barbara - Retired Air Force and Airline Pilot
(just a sampling of our amazing chapter members!)