VICE's The Most Unknown shoot in Hawaii, 2017

During the summer of 2017 I traveled with a VICE film crew for an upcoming documentary called The Most Unknown. I joined Dr. Rachel Smith, an astrochemist who studies star formation in the center of our galaxy, and followed her around learning about her research. She is hilarious and a great scientist and we had a blast visiting all sorts of cool spots on the big island!

 There's  Dr. Rachel Smith  and I tromping through Volcanoes Nat'l Park followed by the VICE crew.

There's Dr. Rachel Smith and I tromping through Volcanoes Nat'l Park followed by the VICE crew.

  Lindsay Blatt ,  Michael James Murray , and  Colin Kerrigan  during our we're-about-to-go-from-sea-level-to-14000ft mandatory acclimation stop

Lindsay Blatt, Michael James Murray, and Colin Kerrigan during our we're-about-to-go-from-sea-level-to-14000ft mandatory acclimation stop

  Dr. Rachel Smith  drives us to the tippy top of Mauna Kea, where we get to play around inside of a couple observatories.

Dr. Rachel Smith drives us to the tippy top of Mauna Kea, where we get to play around inside of a couple observatories.

 Probably one of the best photos I ever took.

Probably one of the best photos I ever took.

 That right there is a hexagonal mirror that fits into an array of its sisters to concentrate the light in the Keck telescope. It is very very expensive and you get in big trouble if you scratch one....selfie time!

That right there is a hexagonal mirror that fits into an array of its sisters to concentrate the light in the Keck telescope. It is very very expensive and you get in big trouble if you scratch one....selfie time!

 Sir  Ian Cheney , intrepid director of  The Most Unknown , looking glorious as ever during sunset on a lava field (he hasn't actually been knighted, as far as I know)

Sir Ian Cheney, intrepid director of The Most Unknown, looking glorious as ever during sunset on a lava field (he hasn't actually been knighted, as far as I know)

 Okay, enough with the silly stuff. Here are  Dr. Rachel Smith  and her undergraduate researcher actually peering deep into the center of our galaxy to understand what stable isotopic ratios of carbon monoxide can tell us about where we came from. So cool. The VICE crew had to leave for the overnight observations so they gave me a camera. I had no idea what I was doing.

Okay, enough with the silly stuff. Here are Dr. Rachel Smith and her undergraduate researcher actually peering deep into the center of our galaxy to understand what stable isotopic ratios of carbon monoxide can tell us about where we came from. So cool. The VICE crew had to leave for the overnight observations so they gave me a camera. I had no idea what I was doing.

  Michael James Murray  flying his drone over a lava field and taking some amazing videos. 

Michael James Murray flying his drone over a lava field and taking some amazing videos. 

 Sulfur! Yay! The earth spews gases through its cracks (sounds like my brothers) and yellow sulfur deposits collect there.

Sulfur! Yay! The earth spews gases through its cracks (sounds like my brothers) and yellow sulfur deposits collect there.

 OMG I'm inside a lava tube which is basically the esophagus of a dragon.

OMG I'm inside a lava tube which is basically the esophagus of a dragon.

 The ever daring  Michael James Murray  risks his life for his dedication to work and his pure love of film.

The ever daring Michael James Murray risks his life for his dedication to work and his pure love of film.

 Above the clouds!

Above the clouds!

 Keck Observatories, Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Keck Observatories, Mauna Kea, Hawaii

 Again, the earth busts through its seams and pours lava into the Pacific.

Again, the earth busts through its seams and pours lava into the Pacific.

  Rache l and lava!

Rachel and lava!

  Lindsay Blatt ,  Colin Kerrigan ,  Matthew Betlej ,  Michael James Murray  and I take a load off before our flight back home.

Lindsay Blatt, Colin Kerrigan, Matthew Betlej, Michael James Murray and I take a load off before our flight back home.