Friday, August 16, 2013

UA Science: Sky School!

Having recently changed career paths into the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, I am often asked by friends and relatives how it is working out.  Sometimes the question is straightforward, other times the question comes from a skeptical place and may be a projection of the other persons own fears of change (much more frequent from long time UA colleagues).  I generally give a short answer to the effect that I could not be happier with my new co-workers and that in particular, the projects I am working on are quite challenging and engaging.

One of these projects is now among the most rewarding things I have ever done- establishing the UA Science: Sky School.  I never would have had the opportunity if not for the ideas, hard work and dedication of my colleague and friend, Ben Blonder.  Ben envisioned a residential science school operated by the University, and together we have launched this new program.  In addition to Ben, I am very fortunate to be working with Pacifica Sommers and Rebecca Lipson who also maintain the vision and dedication to the project.  Pacifica , a PhD candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology and a NASA graduate Space Grant Fellow, and Rebecca, a highly regarded middle school science teacher have helped us to create a truly world-class educational experience.  I could go on and on, but this video explains things nicely.

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