PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE IN ASTRONOMY
My enthusiasm for astronomy can be traced back to the elementary grades, although serious involvement did not occur until high school. My affiliation, in 1965, with the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society in Allentown, PA provided me with a variety of hands-on experiences which had a profound bearing on my career choice as an astronomy educator. I was an active participant as well as an organizer in the construction of three observatories. I have a great deal of practical and technical experience in photography and astrophotography. I have been an active contributor to the U.S. Naval Observatory's Lunar Grazing Occultation Program, have secured well-over 7000 meteor observations for the American Meteor Society, and have participated in five total or annular solar eclipse expeditions (1970, 1972, 1973, 1984, and 1991).
Working with Dr. Carlson R. Chambliss at Kutztown (PA) University, I have participated in photographic and photoelectric research projects involving Comet Kohoutek (1973f), Comet Bradfield (1974b), and Comet West (1975n), along with research on eclipsing binary stars and novae (Nova Cygni-1975 and Nova Vulpeculae-1976). During the summer of 1988, I helped spearhead the refurbishment of KU's 18-inch Tinsley reflector.
In 1985, I organized and helped to lead a Halley's Comet observing expedition to Aruba. The successful tour was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Motor Club of Allentown, PA, and it attracted 40 participants who viewed the comet from March 13-20, 1986 at the time of its greatest brilliancy. I also organized and escorted a trip to Hawaii in 1991 to view the July 11th total solar eclipse.
During the summers of 1988, 1989, 1990 and the fall of 1991, I spent many nights in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, near Sapello, photographing the sky. This work has now been incorporated into my planetarium programs.
I have ground, polished and parabolized two primary mirrors for Newtonian telescopes; an 8-inch, F/7.0 and a 6-inch, F/4.1. The 8-inch mirror is currently housed in a working telescope.