I received my B.A. in Physics from Whitman College in 1972 and my Ph.D. in Physics in 1978 from the University of New Hampshire specializing in space plasma physics. I was a Research Associate at the University of Colorado, Boulder from 1982-1990. In September of 1989, I served as the Program Director of the Magnetospheric Physics Program at the National Science Foundation.
I have given back to the science research and education communities by serving on science research and education committees, agency review panels, and participating as an advisor on many different projects. I co-developed a successful workshop series to help scientists and engineers learn how to implement an effective formal and informal STEM education program (1995-2004). I have also designed and participated in numerous professional development workshops for classroom and informal STEM educators. I led the development of major national traveling exhibitions that reached over 2 million visitors (funded primarily by NSF and NASA): Electric Space, Space Weather Center, MarsQuest, Destination Mars, Alien Earths, Giant Worlds: A Journey to the Outer Solar System, and most recently Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors. These exhibitions were produced for the science center/science museum community and included workshops for museum educators. The Association of Science-Technology Centers was a strategic partner for many of them.
Currently, I direct the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), a national library education program (in partnership with the American Library Association and many other organizations). Five STAR Net exhibitions have been developed (funded primarily by NSF, NASA, and NIH): Discover Earth, Discover Space, Discover Tech, Discover Health, and Discover NASA (and three smaller Explore exhibitions). I am also PI and Project Director for the following STAR Net projects including NSF-funded STAR Net: Phase 1 and Phase 2, STEM Learning in Libraries Conference (Denver, Colorado, August 20-22, 2015), and Project BUILD. NASA-funded projects include From Our Town To Outer Space and NASA@ My Library. The later project was responsible for providing over 2.1 solar viewing glasses to 7,000 library organizations during the 2017 solar eclipse. A recent focus of STAR Net has been to design education programs that encompass diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles in partnership with the American Library Association.