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JOHANNES KEPLER
JOHANNES KEPLER
Germany (1571 - 1630)
Johannes Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and key figure in the 17th century astronomical revolution. He is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy.
 
Andrew Fraknoi,
Educational Content Provider

Andrew Fraknoi

Andrew Fraknoi is the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College and Senior Educator at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). He has taught introductory astronomy for over 35 years, and is co-author of "Voyages through the Universe", one of the leading textbooks in the field of astronomy. He was the California Professor of the Year in 2007.

He served as the executive director of the ASP for fourteen years and founded a number of its educational programs, including Project ASTRO which brings volunteer astronomers into 4th to 9th grade classrooms in a dozen regional sites around the country. Every three years, he organizes "Cosmos in the Classroom", a national conference on improving the way introductory astronomy is taught. His work in education and outreach has earned him the Education Prize of the American Astronomical Society and the Klumpke-Roberts Prize of the ASP, two of the highest honors in the field. In recognition of his work, the International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 Asteroid Fraknoi (but he hastens to reassure readers that it is a very boring asteroid, and not one that threatens the Earth).

Fraknoi co-edited two collections of science and science fiction for Bantam Books in the 1980's and recently wrote a children's book entitled "Disney's Wonderful Worlds of Space".  For the ASP, he helped create three family board games on astronomy and authored "Surfing the Solar System”, an on-line puzzle and game. He was co-author of a syndicated newspaper column on astronomy and appears regularly on national and local radio, explaining astronomical ideas and discoveries in everyday language.

Vivian White,
Astronomy Educator

Vivian White

Vivian White has been an Administrator for the Night Sky Network since 2006. Her work with NSN includes development and testing of new activities for this diverse group, as well as writing weekly web news articles and video training productions. Vivian holds a bachelor’s degree in physics with a concentration in astronomy.

Her experience includes teaching college-level labs and middle school students, as well as volunteering in dozens of classrooms through Project ASTRO. She has worked in campus observatories and planetariums, writing and producing shows.

Vivian is the author of a children’s activity book for use with remote telescopes, entitled “Slooh Kids II”. She is currently very active as treasurer of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers.

 

 

Marni Berendsen,
Senior Astronomy Educator

Marni BerendsenMarni Berendsen is the lead project manager and developer of the NASA Night Sky Network, a nationwide coalition of over 200 amateur astronomy clubs dedicated to astronomy outreach. The Night Sky Network is an ASP and NASA-funded program to create and disseminate informal outreach materials and training specifically tailored for use by amateur astronomers. An amateur astronomer for many years, Marni is a Project ASTRO partner and a member of the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society in Concord, California, participating regularly in the club’s outreach programs and conducting club member workshops.

She earned her master’s in astronomy through the University of Western Sydney. Her master’s thesis involved research into outreach and knowledge of astronomy concepts among amateur astronomers, publishing the primary findings in the journal Astronomy Education Review. She contributed to and co-edited the book “Science Educators Under the Stars: Amateur Astronomers Engaged in Education and Public Outreach”, published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in 2007. Her interest in astronomy was sparked as a young Girl Scout camping out in a high Sierra meadow while Scout leaders told stories of the Greek gods illustrated by the tapestry of constellations over their heads.

 

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