I am a planetary scientist who has studied the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, asteroids, meteorites, the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, and comets. Sometimes I feel the solar system is too small for me. But then I look out the window or thru a telescope and realize that I really don't understand much.
Like many scientists I became interested in science as a young person when I observed an eclipse of the Moon. I read science fiction and followed closely the American space program. As a college student I earned degrees in astronomy, geophysics and planetary science, along the way starting to give talks to students about the Moon and volcanoes, my two favorite topics in the universe. I interrupted formal education twice to teach in the Peace Corps in Kenya and then later to conduct geologic research in Ethiopia - both were tremendous learning experiences. I spent a year hitch-hiking through Africa, the near east and Europe, and recommend it to everyone. I have written dozens of research papers, presented hundreds of professional talks, written four books and a monthly column for Sky and Telescope magazine since 1999. I blog nightly for the Lunar Photo of the Day website and maintain the Moon Wiki website which is the largest single source of information about lunar craters, mountains and lava flows.
For the last two decades I have led educational technology programs to infuse learning with the instant access to knowledge and real data that is transforming science. School is boring, so how can we make it more like scientific research. How can we capture the minds of students with exciting challenges of understanding important things? That is what education should be about. That and exploring the world.
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