What are your favorite citizen science projects to work on?
Disk Detectives and Planet Hunter, because both are exciting and led to five publications on which I was a co-author.
What do you do when you’re not doing science with NASA? Tell us about your job and your hobbies!
As a medical doctor, I practiced internal medicine and addiction medicine. My hobbies include tending my fruit orchard (40 trees planted 20 years ago), fishing for king salmon in both the ocean and rivers, and playing classical piano.
What have you discovered or learned as a NASA citizen scientist?
I learned how to classify and vet Disk Detective objects. Most notably, I discovered the first Peter Pan disk, and was co-discoverer of Tabby's star.
What first sparked your interest in space and science?
The arrival of Time-Life books with their "Space" edition. I marveled at the photos of the planets, the solar system and distant galaxies. I also ground my own six-inch reflecting telescope mirror, and I bought a ten-inch reflector as well.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a NASA citizen scientist?
Working on vetting a 14,000 object spreadsheet. I did over half the objects, which took over a year and a half.
What advice would you give to others who might want to volunteer with NASA?
Just do it! You never know what you'll discover.
Who inspires you?
Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.
What are some fun facts about yourself?
I've visited 49 states and went fishing for king salmon and halibut in Alaska three times. I love to read and have read half of the Encyclopedia Britannica Great Books of the Western World, and all of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Honore de Balzac, Aldous Huxley, Sir Walter Scott and most of Jack Kerouac. I love playing classical music on the piano. I've also been a Deadhead for 46 years.