I have been involved in several different overlapping educational venues.
This page is divided into three sections,
Webmastering, and Education
and Public Outreach.
I have received awards for my outreach efforts:
- Member of NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP), awarded
NASA Group Achievement Award 2011.
- Member of Spitzer Observing Program for Teachers and Students Team, awarded
NASA Group Achievement Award 2007.
- The Donald E. MacMinn Award for Service
Beyond the Walls of the University, University of Chicago
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Spring 1998.
- University of Chicago President's Service Award,
I really enjoy giving public talks - it's important to me to share what I do
with the general public.
Want me to come give a public talk to your group? Email me!
Links related to my public talk on
Links related to my public talk on
rotation in young stars.
Education and Public Outreach
I'm interested in astronomy
education in general, not so much teaching in a classroom but
rather disseminating scientific knowledge to the public, and
specifically to teachers. Given the section above, as you can
imagine, a lot of my outreach work has involved the internet.
Starting in 2005, my most recent outreach
effort (beyond public talks, above) has been
Spitzer Teachers program which
morphed into the NASA
IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) in 2010.
(I'm now the director of it too.)
I've had a team every year since 2005. We try to produce a refereed
journal article out of every project, but it doesn't always work.
In 1995-1996 I helped found these two groups:
I have also participated in these venues:
- Chicago Public Schools -
Univ of Chicago Internet Project (CUIP) -- bringing
the internet to the 25 local public schools around the University
of Chicago (inner city!), and helping them
incorporate it into the curriculum! Fun, but a lot of work.
Fortunately, this paid my salary for a little while, and
it taught me a lot about networking, management, and how
"the real world" works. I also gained a lot of respect for teachers,
especially those in the Chicago Public Schools system.
The group continues to do wonderful
things; I left in 1998 to finish my thesis work.
- Science Partners
for Teachers -- set up one-on-one partnerships between
scientists (mostly graduate students) and area school teachers.
I was a co-coordinator of the group with
I only had one partnership, (basically because I was too
busy running it), but here's my summary of
the experience, including lesson plans and reactions from
the kids. Apparently we ran the group a little too well,
because we were unable to find someone to take over leadership
of the group when both Lucia and I both needed to refocus our energies
on our thesis work. I still think the idea is viable, and I hope
that CUIP will be able to help resurrect the Science Partners idea in
the future. Science Partners received rave reviews from the teachers involved,
and from the external evaluator CUIP hired.
outreach -- I worked with inner-city high school kids, teaching
them physics, coaching science fair projects, etc. I got started on
this with a teaching assistantship in '93-'94, but I worked with them
on and off through my tenure at Chicago because the kids are great!
Planetarium -- I
volunteered here when I could because teaching astronomy to the
general public is fun... you get a lot of interesting
reactions from people. My largest volunteer
effort for them was during the Shoemaker-Levy 9 Jovian Impact in 1994 --
Adler didn't realize the wealth of observations obtainable on the
web (which was still a relatively new phenomenon then) and I helped
Adler make these images available to, and interpret them for, the
-- I had about 15 pen pals who are all in about 4th grade. They got
labs from the
Museum of Science
in Boston and they sent their observations and questions to me
via snail mail. The topics included things like science of sports,
planetary science, weather, science magic, and
garbage. The labs are clever and the kids are fun! For info, write to
Science-By-Mail, Museum of Science, Science Park, Boston, MA
02114-1099 or visit their server.
I design easy-to-navigate, content-rich websites. This means I don't use
Shockwave or really any Java, but it also means that my pages are
maximally accessible by the most people, including kids in classrooms on
old computers working over modems.
I used to be (2002-2006) the content webmaster for the
Spitzer Science Center (SSC)
public web pages (as distinct from
Spitzer [general public]
web pages). It retained the
overall basic design structure (and look-and-feel) of the original
pages that were in place when I got here, but I overhauled and
rearranged things, and I worked constantly to make sure the content
of the pages is all up-to-date. I also created/maintained several
more groups of pages that are all internal to the Spitzer project.
Now I only look after a few groups of pages.
I've been a webmaster in various ways more or less continuously since 1994.
Other groups of pages I designed (but no longer maintain) include these,
most of which have changed since I last touched any of
them (c'est la web):
I've also done many smaller and/or more specific web pages
which I have not listed here.
- The UChicago Astronomy department
server. This is the first and largest site I created. We
launched in 1994, I redesigned it in 1998, and I pretty much quit when I
graduated in 2000, though they didn't actually replace me until 2001. I
took care of the organization and content. Now it's at least partially
- The Yerkes
Observatory (changed since I last edited it), including the Yerkes Observatory Virtual
Tour (unchanged as of june 2007). I did not write the Virtual Museum (gone
as of june 2007!),
but I redesigned it so that it was readable and filled in many of the
holes. The Yerkes site was launched in 1994 with the departmental server.
- (these sites unchanged as of june 2007) The Center for Astrophysical
Research in Antarctica (CARA), including the CARA Virtual Tour of the
South Pole. The latter has been linked into CNN stories on the South Pole. The CARA
site was launched in 1995 and redesigned in 1998.
It has substantial scientific and educational
sections in addition to the Virtual Tour. I have also designed pages for
them associated with special trips to the Pole and special classes they
have run. I did not design the South Pole
Adventure Web Page, but reformatted it in 1998 so that it was
readable and accessible by students and the general public on AOL.
I did all the updates to that part of the server
(e.g. travelogues, Q&A) after that through Aug 2000.
Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes. This site
was launched in 1999, and was taken over by Flash Center
staff in 2000; it's now totally changed since I last edited it.
Hints for good (IMHO) hypertext. I have
some rather strong opinions on what makes a good web
document. This dated document still pretty much
summarizes the philosophy behind all of my web
go back to my home page
Last substantially modified 8 Oct 2002 by rebull
Any opinions expressed here are well-reasoned and insightful, but in no
way reflect those of NASA, JPL, Caltech, or the SSC. No electrons were
harmed in the creation of these pages.