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Patrick Wilhite graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Physics in 2003. He worked for NASA Ames Research Center where he conducted research in the fields of nanotechnology and astrobiology. His work in nanotechnology focused on the functionalization of single-walled carbon nanotubes via cold plasma discharge processes. In astrobiology, he has contributed to the study of optical properties of organic hazes produced in simulated atmospheres of Titan, Mars and the early-Earth. He also worked for New York University as a Laboratory Preparator, developing and supporting laboratory exercises for undergraduate science courses.