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hometown: Chemainus, BC, Canada
degree: PhD Physics & Astronomy McMaster University
career: Associate Professor
workplace: Youngstown State University
I have long had a fascination in astronomy (and other areas of science), starting as a child of about 8 years old, when an elementary school teacher noticed my interest, and showed me a view of Saturn through a telescope for the very first time. Even as a school student I was deeply interested using telescopes to view the night sky, and showing celestial objects to people -- thus an early interest in `public outreach'. As a `professional' astronomer, I still get the same sense of discovery that comes with doing astronomical research. Even with many years of experience separating me from more humble beginnings, I still get the same sense of awe when I am either at a large telescope collecting data, or seeing new images from the Hubble Space Telescope. It is not just the personal sense of discovery, however -- letting interested people know about these discoveries is extremely important, and I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching astronomy to students and the general public for over 30 years; as director of the Ward Beecher Planetarium I continue to be able to do this!