E r i c  C h r i s t i a n
Deputy Project Scientist
ACE NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Q: Did you have a favorite teacher, someone who had an influence on your life? Who was it and why?

A: My favorite teacher was Neil Wyman, my high school Physics teacher. After I finished his class as a junior, he spent his free period with me my senior year in an independent study, college-level physics class. His interest and help is definitely one of the major reasons I'm a physicist today. I still see him now and then, and have to stop myself from calling him "Mr. Wyman" instead of Neil, which he prefers.

Q: If you weren't an astrophysicist, what would you be?

A: If I weren't a physicist, I would probably have become a scientist of another type. I've been interested in geology, biology, and oceanography and had considered them all at one time or another. But space has always been my prime interest. If I weren't a scientist at all, I probably would be a computer programmer or designer, but in many ways, that's not all that different from what I do. Further afield, I could see myself being a ranger somewhere, since as I've said, nature is one of my main interests.

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