S t e v e  K e i l
Director, National Solar Observatory

How I got here.

I was born in Billings, Montana, but my father worked for the Bureau of Land Management so we moved every few years. I started school in Rawlins, Wyoming then moved to Boise, Idaho, Temple City, California, (near LA) and finally went to High School in Carmichael, California (near Sacramento). During elementary and High School I was always interested in engineering and forestry. I spent a lot of time building and flying model airplanes and hiking or biking in the woods.

I started college in 1965 at the University of California, Berkeley, with a major in botany and graduated in 1969 with a major in physics and minor in history as well as a commission in the Army Corp of Engineers. I'm not sure what happened, but I really enjoyed the beauty of solving physical problems (I spent all my summers working for the Forest Service-hmmm?)

During my last two years at Berkeley, I became interested in astronomy and space physics, and went on to graduate school receiving a Ph.D. in 1975 from Boston University in Physics and Astronomy. During the summers of my last two years at Boston University, I participated in the summer research program at Sacramento Peak Observatory, which later became part of the National Solar Observatory.

My wife and I fell in love with New Mexico so I worked hard to get a job here. Except for 18 months at the University of Sydney in Australia and four months at the University of Naples in Italy, we have lived here ever since. In addition to my science, I enjoy working with students and helping them understand our Sun and other aspects of astronomy. I have conducted the student program at the NSO for the past 20 years and we continue to hire 6-8 college students each summer.

You can visit our WWW site to learn more about our observatory and the student program.

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