NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the Nation's largest organization of combined scientists and engineers dedicated to learning and sharing their knowledge of the Earth, solar system, and Universe. Not only is GSFC a leader of scientific investigation, but also in the development and operation of space systems, and the advancement of essential technologies. Those hosts representing Goddard are an exceptional group of scientists, engineers and educators, all of whom are excited to take part in NASAâ€™s efforts to inspire, engage and educate our nationâ€™s students through the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Ms. Tara Clopper is a high school science teacher from Greencastle-Antrim High School, in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Ms. Clopper is currently a teacher-on-loan to GSFCâ€™s Office of Education, serving as a liaison to the Heliophysics, Planetary and Astrophysics Division. While serving in this position, Ms. Clopper has been integral in forming strong partnerships with Science Mission Directorate scientists and its EPO staff. She has also led teacher professional development, on-site student visits and hosted numerous DLN events to students across the United States. As a secondary school teacher, she has taught Earth Science, Astronomy, and Women In Science courses. Ms. Clopper was the NASA Explorer School team lead from 2003-07. She has coordinated numerous teacher professional development sessions and summer science camps, and assisted in the integration of science into the lower grades of her school district. Most notably Ms. Clopper formed a â€śGirls in Scienceâ€ť after-school program that encouraged girls to pursue science throughout their middle and high school years. Ms. Clopper also serves on many local and state science and technology education boards and has accepted several education recognition awards for teaching excellence.
Carmel Conaty is responsible for the Goddard Visitor Center and is the Systemic Planning & Analysis Manager for Goddardâ€™s Office of Education. She also serves as the lead for Informal Education for Goddard Space Flight Center. She is a systems engineer with 20 years of experience at NASA. She is a graduate of NASAâ€™s Leadership Development Program, and has a management and technical background. For the Goddard Visitor Center, she is responsible for all partnerships, programs, exhibits and development, and for the Education Resource Center. She also supports Goddardâ€™s Future Planning team. Her technical background as an engineer with many years of experience working with scientists on in-house flight instruments was the origin of her desire to inspire students and the public by providing engaging and compelling educational experiences that reflect the daily work and value of NASA and Earth and Space Science. She has a long history of support and participation in NASA education and outreach programs and serves on an Anne Arundel County private school board.
Dr. Marcianna Delaney is a biological oceanographer who has had extensive research experience in both laboratory and field environments. Five years ago she looked from the oceans to the sky to become a science educator within NASA Education. As part of the NASA Learning Technologies group at GSFC, she currently serves as the GSFC Digital Learning Network Team (DLN) Lead, in which she designs science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content for the DLN, actively teaches to students and teachers across the United States, as well as establishes partnerships across the agency for additional STEM collaboration on projects for e-Education. Dr. Delaney is also co-manager of NASAâ€™s e-Education Product Showcase, a monthly DLN/webcast series featuring approved NASA Education products across all the Directorates. She recently concluded managing the NASA Exploring Space Challenges, an agency-wide project for K-12 academic, STEM-related competitions. She also has a great deal of experience with teacher professional development. Most recently noted, is the effort Dr. Delaney made on behalf of NASA Education in its relationship with Disney/Pixar. It was Dr. Delaney who secured the WALL•E partnership in the Space Act Agreement for the NASA DLN.
Dr. James Garvin is the Chief Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and provides strategic advice on the scientific priorities and directions for the Center to its senior management, as well as for the Agency. As a veteran Earth and planetary scientist within NASA in a career that has spanned more than 20 years, Dr. Garvin brings his experience with interdisciplinary science and instrumentation in helping to direct the scientific trajectory of the Center. Garvin served as the NASA Chief Scientist, advising three separate Administrators on issues ranging from science strategies associated with the Vision for Space Exploration to those involved in rebalancing the NASA science portfolio. In addition, Dr. Garvin served as the chief scientist for Mars exploration from 2000 until 2004 and spearheaded the development of the scientific strategy that led NASA to select such missions as the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Phoenix polar lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory. He received two NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals for his work with the science behind the Mars Exploration Program.
Leigh began working at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in 2000 as a Cooperative Education student in the Flight Dynamics Analysis Branch. She completed 5 Co-op tours while earning her Bachelors in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University. In 2004 she began working full-time at NASA/GSFC. Currently she is working as a flight dynamics engineer on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) which is due to launch in early 2009. Her daily work involves mission design and trajectory/orbit analysis for satellites. She also serves on various committees and special teams at GSFC including the GSFC New Employee Welcoming Board (NEWB) and the Goddard Employee Welfare Association (GEWA).
Paul Richards, holds a master of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, but had begun working as engineer for the Department of the Navy, Naval Ship Systems Engineering Station, 1983-1987. Richards then transferred to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in 1987. He was selected for the astronaut program in 1996. Having completed two years of training and evaluation, he qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. Richards was initially assigned to the Computer Branch working on software for the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. He next served in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch assigned to support Payload and General Support Computers (PGSCs) and the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory (SAIL). Richards flew on STS-102 and has logged over 307 hours in space, including 6.4 EVA hours. He was assigned as a back-up crewmember for ISS Expedition-7. Richards left NASA in February 2002 to become an aerospace consultant. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Space Business Roundtable and currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Drexel Universityâ€™s College of Engineering. In 2004 Richards returned to NASA GSFC as the Observatory Manager for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-R Series). The GOES-R series is the next-generation of advanced weather satellites being developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in partnership with NASA.
Kim Weaver is an astrophysicist at Goddard Space Flight Center and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University. She is also the author of a new book â€śThe Violent Universe: Joyrides Through the X-Ray Cosmosâ€ť. After getting her Ph.D. in high energy astrophysics from the University of Maryland, she moved to Penn State University and then to Johns Hopkins University. In 1996, Dr. Weaver won a NASA Presidential Early Career Award to pursue research in extragalactic astronomy. Two years later she came to Goddard to work on the Constellation-X mission, part of NASAâ€™s Beyond Einstein program. In addition to serving as the Deputy Project Scientist for Constellation-X, she has been the Program Scientist for the Spitzer Space Telescope. She very much enjoys speaking about science and the opportunity to communicate the excitement of space astronomy.
Russell L. Werneth is an aerospace engineer who works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Russ has bachelor's and master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in Engineering Administration from the George Washington University. He was the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Project's ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA) Manager or Crew Aids and Tools Manager during the four HST servicing missions. Russ has taught at the University of Maryland and at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He also is a national officer of Tau Beta Pi, the national collegiate engineering honor society.
Kenneth Yienger serves currently as Mission Systems Engineering Branch Head (Code 599) supervising approximating 50 systems engineers deployed as lead engineers on the various projects at NASAâ€™s Goddard Space Flight Center. Mr. Yienger received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1988, and a Masters of Mechanical Engineering Degree from Johns Hopkins University in 1993. Yienger joined the propulsion section at NASA Goddard 1990, fulfilling a childhood dream that started in the day of Apollo. Three years later, Mr. Yienger officially became a â€śRocket Scientistâ€ť when joined the Orbital Launch Services Project as a liquid propulsion system engineer. Mr. Yienger was part of the Delta 2 launch vehicle teams that returned NASA to Mars, Athena launch teams that sent Lunar Prospector to the moon, and the Titan and Atlas teams that launched the TIROS/POES/DMSP weather satellites.