Seminole Middle School
Alan teaches astrophysics, engineering and robotics at Seminole Middle School in Plantation, Florida. He is the recipient of a grant by the James Randi Educational Foundation supporting his Retaking the Stars project, which seeks to educate people about the science of astronomy versus the pseudoscience of astrology.
Dr. Dawn (Elliott) Martin
NASA Safety and Mission Assurance
Dr. Dawn (Elliott) Martin is an Aerospace Engineer at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in FL. She has supported NASA’s Space Shuttle, International Space Station and Expendable Launch Vehicle Programs from KSC as well as aeronautics projects at Langley Research Center in VA. Dr. (Elliott) Martin is an alum of Broward College (1988-90). She has witnessed the evolution of the US Space Program since 1994 and currently participates in the planning for NASA’s next steps.
You can read a full biography of Dr. Martin here.
Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System
Cristi Owen graduated from Iowa State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, with minors in both Physics and Astronomy. Upon graduation, Cristi was offered a job with United Space Alliance, a contractor at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, in Houston, TX. The mission: help to train Space Shuttle astronauts in all aspects of Shuttle Guidance, Control and Propulsion in order to prepare them for their missions. Cristi gladly accepted and spent six years at JSC training Shuttle crews in various simulation environments. As the end of the Shuttle program drew near, Cristi made the transition from manned spaceflight to satellite operations and took a job with Raytheon in Omaha, NE. Cristi is currently employed as a Systems Engineer on the Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System where she assists in the requirements and algorithm verification of environmental data products.
James ” the Amazing” Randi
James Randi Educational Foundation
James Randi, a close personal friend of Carl Sagan, has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist. Today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. An amatuer atstronomer himself, Randi has spent countless hours behind a telescope exploring the wonders of the universe. Author of 11 books, this will be Randi’s thrid appearance at Carl Sagan Day. Carl said: “We may disagree with Randi on certain points, but we ignore him at our peril.
Science and Health Editor, Blogger
Ethan was born in New York City as the son of a Jewish postal worker. He did his undergrad at Northwestern, taught public school in Houston, Texas and Los Angeles, California, before moving to Florida, where he got his PhD in theoretical astrophysics at the University of Florida. After that, he moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where he taught at the University of Wisconsin, ate too much cheese, and also met his life partner, Jamie. After working in astrophysics research at the University of Arizona and starting the world-renowned science blog, Starts With A Bang, he moved from the hellish desert to rain-soaked Portland in 2008. Since then, he’s been a professor at the University of Portland and Lewis & Clark College, grown a nationally renowned beard and mustache, got invited to join a circus, and probably drank more beer than a healthy person should.
He currently works as the science and health editor at Trapit, an internet discovery / artificial intelligence engine with a focus on education and quality information, and can’t wait to tell you a little bit more about the Universe.
Jeff Wagg has lead many lives and though he calls Chicago home these days, he still considers himself a New England boy – having grown up in Salem, Massachusetts. Insatiably curious, Jeff has travelled extensively and often brings folks with him: recent adventures have taken him to the ruins of Ephesus, the Acropolis, Dunn’s River Falls, the Galapagos Islands, Death Valley, the Bay of Fundy and the burning highway of Centralia, PA. Jeff is a frequent lecturer for Chicago Skeptics, and has helped organize several Amaz!ng Meetings for the James Randi Educational Foundation. Jeff’s new project is the College of Curiosity, an organization dedicated to curiosity. This is Jeff’s third appearance at Carl Sagan Day.