Senior Director, McREL
Click for larger image.
John standing next to the exhibit of the Stardust sample return capsule at the National Air and Space Museum.
What's the coolest thing about EPOXI?
I think that it is cool that the spacecraft will get to flyby another comet and get some great pictures of the nucleus. I can't wait to see the images!
Why do you like working at McREL?
I have worked at Mid-continent Research for Education & Learning (McREL) for a little over 10 years. I love the opportunities that are here to be part of a great team of people that do important work that truly makes a difference in the education of kids.
What is your job on the EPOXI mission?
I have contributed to the educational materials for the mission including writing, revising, pilot testing materials and making presentations to teachers, students and the public.
How did you end up in Space Science?
When I was three, I remember making watercolors of the Apollo moon missions. In the early 1990's, when I was a science teacher, I worked during the summers at NASA's Johnson Space Center developing educational materials for students to study Mars using simulated Mars soil. When an opportunity came about for me to do this for a living, I jumped at the chance. It has been a fun ride!
What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my family (wife Diane and three kids: Anna, Laurel, and Danny).
Who in your life inspired you?
I am inspired by people who take the impossible and turn it into reality. The mission teams I support are all inspiring people.
What is one yet-to-be achieved life goal?
I want to travel to every national park in the US.
Were you science-oriented as a young person?
Yes, I loved spending time outside in nature and exploring the woods of western Pennsylvania.
What was your favorite book as a young person?
I read all of the biographies of the presidents.
What did you want to become when you were young?
It was a toss-up between being an astronaut and a police officer.
If you weren't working in space exploration now, what might you be doing?
I would still love to be teaching kids.