People are universally intrigued by mystery and delighted by discovery and understanding. This is the essence of science and it is why we all spend at least the first 10 years of our lives exploring the unknown universe just as scientists do. But at that age, we call it play.
With good fortune, I have been able to continue the work of my inner 10 year old and to share the mystery, discovery and understanding with my students. The delight I have in teaching comes every term when I get to see the universe through their eyes and perspectives. And in reminding everyone to tap into that 10 year old scientist that lives within.
My career in science began at age 5 with a visit to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. It almost ended when I was 12 when I set fire to the basement of my house with a chemistry set! But I survived that test (and my parents never knew!). That’s when I knew I had a future in science!
My formal education includes a B.A. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Pittsburgh.
I started teaching astronomy and physics in 1975 at various universities and have served as director of three planetariums, including OMSI’s Kendall Planetarium. At OMSI I moved into the exhibit design and development phase of my career and totally reinforced my commitment to hands-on, discovery-based learning. That is the philosophy I use in my classes at Marylhurst University where I teach now.
I have also worked for two other Portland-based science exhibit companies, Levy Design and Promotion Products, Inc. Exhibits that I have developed are here in Portland, and museums in California, Ohio, Alaska, New Jersey, Boston, Saudi Arabia and Israel, among other places.