A r t  P o l a n d
Ex-Project Scientist for the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Likes/Dislikes About Career

The best parts of my job involve the new discoveries and the teamwork involved in making those discoveries. The movies and new discoveries about the Sun have been wonderful. Our ability to get these in the news and to the public has also been very gratifying - why make a discovery if no-one hears about it? It has also been wonderful to work as a team member with so many different people with so many different skills. I of course work with solar researchers from all over the world. But I have also been working with engineers with many different skills ranging from electronics to materials failure analysis, to spacecraft orbit prediction to ...(the range has been immense). I have also had the opportunity to talk with people in congress to help them understand how and why they are spending our tax money. The range of experience has been exciting.

As with everything else in life, there are also unpleasant tasks in my job. I have to be nice to some people who I would rather not even talk with. I have to keep remembering that almost everyone adds value to the system and I need to keep reminding myself to respect that. I had to spend quite a bit of time justifying to decision makers in government why the money needed for this research was really worth while. I had to spend quite a bit of time being political when I really would have rather been working more closely on the research and the discoveries. The job left me very little time to play.

Personal Information

I live in Warrenton, Virginia on a horse farm with my wife, Helen, who is a horse veterinarian. She was one of my best friends in High School. She still is my best friend. I spend most of my free time working with my horses in preparation for Horse Show Jumping. We also like to Ski, both downhill and cross country.

I guess I am one of the more fortunate people in the world. When I am home, and it's time to go to work, I can hardly wait to get there. When I am at work and it's time to go home, I can hardly wait to get there.

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