Education and Background
I am a third generation California native, hailing from Surf City (Huntington Beach). I was also a Navy civil service brat, so I moved away at a young age. My family spent time in Guam, Spain, and Florida before settling in the Washington DC area, which I consider a second home. But I couldn’t resist the siren call of Southern California: I graduated in 1996 from USC with a B.S. in Astronomy. The East Coast tugged back and I received my M.S. in Astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1999. My first job out of school was working for Boeing tracking satellites from the summit of Haleakala, Maui, HI. My second job (very soon after the first, we will speak no more of it) was at the Center for Space Research (now the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research) at MIT in Cambridge, MA. I was a data analyst for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA’s flagship X-ray telescope. After several happy years in the Boston area, I decided to give New York City a try. I worked for the Goddard Institute for Space Studies as a scientific programmer on climatology projects for a year and a half. Then I was offered a position as an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. I spent nearly a decade at USNO. It was during that time that I became an adjunct professor at Montgomery College in Rockville, MD. My love for teaching astronomy and sharing the wonders of the Universe with my students led me back to California and LBCC.
I am a full-on science fiction and fantasy geek. If you spot me at lunch, I’m likely hunched over my Kindle reading something spacey or swordy. Yes, I attend conventions but I only put costumes on for Halloween. I love to travel when I can and spend a substantial amount of the time I’m not at LBCC using my annual pass at Disneyland. I’m also an amateur photographer.