My current job is Assistant Branch Chief, Airborne Astronomy Missions Branch. I am
responsible for various management tasks, including planning for deployments, leading
technical projects, working out operations schedules, etc. I also fly on KAO research
flights as a Mission Director.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of
Massachusetts, Amherst. Right after college I worked for Yale University, assisting in
the compilation and editing of the Bright Star Catalog. From there, I went to work for
the Air Force Geophysics Lab, as a data analyst for their Airborne Ionospheric
Observatory, a KC-135 aircraft equipped with atmospheric sensors. This got me hooked on
airplanes. My next job was with ITT as a programmer/analyst. By this time I had heard
about the KAO and had decided I wanted to work at Ames on the KAO project. After a couple
years of establishing contacts here, sending resumes, etc., I was finally hired by one of
the KAO support services contractors as a Computer Operator. Then in 1990 I was hired by
NASA as a Mission Director. In March of 1993, I became the Assistant Branch Chief.
The most exciting KAO flight I've ever been on was the one on which we discovered the
atmosphere on Pluto. This was an occultation flight, and as we watched the signal fade
out over about 20 seconds, we knew that there was an atmosphere. There was a lot of
excitement in the cabin, as you can imagine! Jim Elliot, the Pricipal Investigator on the
flight, remarked, "Well now I can write a book called 'Pluto, Planet With an
Outside of work, I enjoy sports, especially running and biking. I am an avid reader
and co-founder of a local book group which is going strong after seven years and over 100
books read and discussed! I also love music and play the piano.