As an avid follower of popular science, Alison Mackey achieved a longtime goal when she joined the Astronomy staff as senior graphic designer in 2009 after 7 years of working on other Kalmbach Publishing Co. magazines, including FineScale Modeler, Scale Auto, Birder's World, Trains, Garden Railways, Classic Trains, Classic Toy Trains, Model Railroader, Bead&Button, and most recently Art Jewelry. She also has overseen the creative direction and design of two craft books published by Kalmbach Books and has assisted on design work of several others. Before coming to Kalmbach, she was a graphic and web designer for Strive Media Institute and Fullhouse Interactive and was the creative services supervisor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she studied graphic design.Her extensive freelance career includes design and art direction of several websites, books, and marketing products, including the website and labels for her parents' organic farm produce. Alison grew up on an organic apple orchard in rural northern Michigan and, later, in southeastern Wisconsin; she still eats an apple almost every day. Her love of science grew out of a childhood spent devouring science-fiction stories and imagining new technologies and what it would be like to travel to the stars. A fervent believer in the importance of continuing self-education, Alison loves science documentaries and has an extensive, ever-growing library of nonfiction books and audio books on topics as varied as neuroscience, philosophy, and business. When she's not working on Astronomy or reading, Alison can be found taking photographs, drawing, knitting, watching movies, spending time with friends and family, and cooking fabulous vegan meals. Alison's love of a diverse and eclectic range of music led her to spend 3 years as a resident DJ at Milwaukee's largest, independently supported college radio station, 91.7 WMSE-FM, where she still subs from time to time.Alison shares a house just east of Brookfield, Wisconsin, with three cats and a few close friends and dreams of one day building a fully sustainable "green" home.