The Imagine the Universe! Team
The Imagine Team
Who Writes this Stuff ??The materials found in the Imagine the Universe! web site are written by a dedicated group of astronomers and programmers who work at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Some members of this jolly group spend their days recovering data from old X-ray and gamma-ray satellites and making it available to the public for use again. Others spend their time helping various astronomers plan and interpret observations obtained with current satellite missions such as XMM, INTEGRAL, Suzaku, Swift, Fermi, and the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE), and others plan for upcoming missions. All of these activities entail astronomers and programmers working together to develop sophisticated computer software and databases which are made accessible via the web. Since 1996 we have provided educational materials and resources to a broader community of students, teachers, and the general public who wish to know more about the wondrous Universe.
Image Credit: NASA
[Left to Right: (Front Row) Sara Mitchell, Meredith
Gibb, Anita Krishnamurthi;
(Middle Row) Beth Barbier, Mike Arida, Koji Mukai, Jim Lochner, Karen Smale, Barbara Mattson;
(Back Row) Pat Keeney, Hans Krim, Dave Chuss, George Gliba, Duilia De Mello]
Contributors (not all are pictured above):
Jim Lochner -- Imagine the Universe's numero uno. He keeps it running and keeps everyone happy. He studies X-ray binaries in his spare time (when not listening to "Car Talk".) Jim is happy that the staff of E/PO volunteers is getting almost as large as the Car Talk staff!
Meredith Gibb -- Our second (and fourth) web master extraordinaire. She's one of the happiest people we know, likely due to all that Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary that she listens to. For a short time she wore 3-D glasses for Goddard's Visualization lab, but is back to cheer us up again.
Koji Mukai -- Responsible for running our "Ask an Astrophysicist" service. Also an expert in cataclysmic variables, ASCA, Suzaku, bike trails in Maryland, and the Baltimore Orioles batting averages.
Beth Barbier -- Education lead for cosmic ray projects, part-time writer and editor for the Imagine site, and moving force behind Cosmicopia. She also meets interesting people by writing our "Featured Scientist".
Barbara Mattson -- Web curator and educator lead for Constellation-X, contributor to education program for INTEGRAL, HEASARC, and, oh yes, writer of her own PhD thesis. An avid reader, movie go-er, and budding cyclist. Not as quiet as we had thought!
Karen Smale -- Web page designer and graphic artist, among other talents. She can draw you a map to anywhere and sing you a tune to send you on your way. (Since she's part of AstroCappella, it's likely to be a song about the Doppler shift.)
George Gliba -- Helps sort through all those Ask an Astrophysicist questions for the archive. As an avid amateur astronomer, he's the person we go to for observational astronomy questions (when he's not spending his nights observing meteor showers). He also sends out all those CDs, posters and booklets.
Anita Krishnamurthi -- Joining us after working at NASA HQ, Anita was E/PO lead for the Astrophysics Science Division until 2009. Now she is the John Bahcall Public Policy Fellow at the American Astronomical Association. So now we have friends in high places.
Sara Mitchell -- No longer our newest team member, but still one of our busiest. She can present a workshop, film a commercial, fix a website, wire a house, and hunt down a bargain. She can even work a Macintosh.
Pat Keeney -- Our type AA teacher intern who started with us during summer 2005 and continued throughout the school year. He worked on developing activities for the new Suzaku mission. It takes Beth, Sara and Jim to keep up with him!
Mike Arida -- A cleaver speller and jack-of-all-trades who helps visitors to the HEASARC, does part time system administration, manages exhibits, ignores warning labels and has settled down with a wife and son.
J.D. Myers -- Concentrates his efforts on the gamma ray missions Swift and GLAST.
Duilia de Mello -- One of our newest contributors, Duilia writes articles for magazines and newspapers, and has done quite a bit of education/outreach work abroad, especially in Brazil and Sweden.
Georgia de Nolfo -- Our second token cosmic ray astrophysicist. She works on ACE and TIGER/HNX and is very enthusiastic about education and public outreach.
Pat Tyler -- A web geek if we ever saw one. Expert at digitizing images and making presentations look good. If it's out there, she knows how to get it.
Contributors to "Ask an Astrophysicist"
Hans Krimm -- Used to teach college physics and astronomy, now hunts gamma-ray bursts and launches balloons.
Amy Fredericks -- Formerly with our Lab, but now an astronomer at the U.S. Naval Observatory. This is, when she's not at her three other jobs: supervising a few Astronomy 101 labs at Montgomery College, doing freelance web design, and pet sitting.
Laura Brenneman -- A former "Ask an Astrophysicist" contributer, she's now back from pursuing her graduate degree. She's also active in basketball, soccer, softball, and astrophysics. We'll still take her for our team!
Others contributers include Mike Loewenstein, Mike Arida, Ilana Harrus, Jeff Livas, Georgia de Nolfo, Jason Link, Nick Sterling, Dave Chuss, Emily Alicea-Munoz, Jay Cummings, Barb Mattson, Sean Scully, and Kevin Boyce.
Some of our former team members:
Laura Whitlock -- Imagine the Universe's first numero uno. It was her idea. She initiated the Education program for the Swift satellite, and is now living the good life in Louisiana.
Nick White - Now Director of the Sciences and Exploration Directorate at NASA/GSFC. He founded the HEASARC and encouraged us in our E/PO efforts.
Jesse Allen - Our first web guru who got things up and running. He is now playing with pretty pictures at Goddard's Visualization lab.
Brian Hewitt -- A former web programmer for us. Once in the radio business (that's broadcast, not astronomy), he designed our new look in the Spring of 2000.
Gail "Qui-Gon Jinn" Rohrbach - Gail has been training HEASARC GOF knights for many years. She now sits on the both the Swift and RXTE Guest Observer councils, and is also preparing knights for the Swift mission.
Chris Wanjek -- Our creative science writer and contributer to news features and special exhibits from 1999 to 2006.
Robert Naeye -- Science writer and contributor to our news features and special exhibits from 2006 to 2008.
Allie Hajian -- Our aspiring benevolent dictator, who once honed her craft with us by bringing the scientists and their science down to Earth. She's now honing her craft as a mother!
Eric Christian -- Our token cosmic ray astrophysicist, and in 2001 was our man in Antarctica! (Jim and Mike are so jealous!)
Ilana Harrus -- Purveyor of all things French, Ilana stopped rooting for the Red Sox in 2004, but has yet to attend a Nationals game.
Padi Boyd -- Expert in chaos (no wise cracks !) in astronomy. Leader of well-known (at least in these parts) a cappella group and a driving force behind AstroCappella. She heads up the RXTE Guest Observer Facility and the Swift Science Center.
Steve Fantasia -- Webmaster for the HEASARC. He keeps the webserver and other web-related software up-to-date. He is also known to plan many social events and has an "infamous" movie grading scale.
Maggie "Jedi knight" Masetti - Maggie was the creative force behind the RXTE and Astro-E Learning Centers, among other things. She has answers at hand for many an ask astro question, not to mention a Simpsons or Star Wars quote for every occasion. She works on E/PO for JWST.
Jackie Finch -- A teacher intern who came to us via the Johns Hopkins Graduate program during summer 2005. She developed the imaging module for Hera.
Amanda Cook -- Our energetic undergraduate intern during Summer 2003. We worked her to the bone - playing games and doing art projects!
Ryan Dorrill -- Our undergraduate intern during summer 2004. A physics student from UMBC, he wrote webpages for us, played frisbee, worked on short stories, and occasionally disappeared for a few days to hike up Old Rag Mountain.