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Greetings from the Plateau Country of Northwestern Colorado! For the past 11 years I have lived in the small rural town of Craig (pop. 9000) with my wonderful wife Sheryl, a 1st Grade teacher at Sunset Elementary School; our precious daughter Sierra who is six and in first grade, and our darling, beautiful and very energetic 18 month old twins, Nolan and Isabella.
I am teaching Earth Science, General College Chemistry, Algebra-based College Physics, and General Astronomy. During the summers, I instruct a Physical Geology class (a better time to take our fieldtrips), and in past years, I have also taught Chemistry 1, and Integrated Science.
Since 2004, I have been an active member of NASA's Network of Educator Astronaut Teachers (NEAT) program and through the sponsorship of the Educator Astronaut Program, I have had the opportunity to participate and attend the following workshops and conferences; U.S. Space and Rocket Center and the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Hunstville, Alabama (Oct 2004); Kansas Cosmosphere, Hutchinson, Kansas (April 2005); Kennedy Space Center, Florida (June 2005); and Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas (July 2006). As a NEAT member we are asked to conduct numerous outreach activities to area school students, classes, service organizations, parents, teachers and administrators. In 2006, I was part of 13 outreach activities that had 1,917 students, teachers, and community members attending. Most of my outreach activities usually coincide with some astronomical event (Mercury Transit, ISS Flyover, Orbiter Launch, Conjunction of planets, Meteor Showers, etc...) this allows anyone who wants to, to peer through one of our six telescopes, and since we live in a very remote area, the nighttime sky is perfect; clear, high altitude, very little light pollution.
For me like most of us, teaching is a livelihood. I have come from an entire family of teachers that believes that education is a life-long learning process. Most importantly, I view teaching as being an educator in training. You can never acquire enough information, nor can you stop the learning process. I love being a life-long learner. Seeking new opportunities, asking questions about the future, or seeing what is currently thought as being the leading edge of science and technology. I learn something new every day, and I challenge my students to do the same. What a wonderful opportunity this experience will be!
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