About Me

Greetings, and thanks for dropping by.

I’m a native of Albuquerque, NM… but am now transplanted to the wonderful state of Maryland. I am an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. I’m also affiliated with the Space Science Institute in Boulder, CO and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

My dad worked for the Apollo program. At six months old, my parents had me watch the Faith 7 Mercury launch and I didn’t miss a televised launch until well into the Space Shuttle program. In 4th grade, “A Wrinkle in Time” inspired me to become an astrophysicist. I received a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physics at New Mexico Tech. I obtained my Ph.D. in astronomy at the University of Texas at Austin. I have mild Cerebral Palsy (CP), so being an astronaut was not an option. However, working in astronomy and astrophysics has been my ticket to the stars.

I like to spend my time learning as much about the world as possible. My late grandmother used to say, “If you’re bored, you’re not living… I refuse not to live.” I took her advice to heart, and haven’t had a bored moment since I was 13.

I’m always learning new skills. I love to read and putter around my house. I’ve played drums since I was 11, and I enjoy fly fishing and flying kites. I tinker with antique clocks and pocket watches and, as this blog chronicles, I love photography and videography.

Especially with the digital age, photography has really opened up a creative channel that was not easily accessible in the analog days. Plus, photography is intimately connected to astronomy. I use cameras on the Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope to “photograph” the universe. And within the next few years, my colleagues and I will have completed and launched the James Webb Space Telescope… the biggest camera ever launched into space! And I’ll get to use it!

Cheers,
Dean

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