Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, speaker, and author. He leads NASA’s New Horizons mission that explored the Pluto system and is now exploring the Kuiper Belt—the farthest exploration in the history of humankind. He has twice been named to the Time 100.
Nicole Stott is an astronaut, aquanaut, and artist who creatively combines the awe and wonder of her spaceflight and undersea experiences with her artwork to inspire everyone’s appreciation of our role as crewmates here on Spaceship Earth. A veteran NASA astronaut with two spaceflights, she spent 104 days living and working on the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle. Personal spaceflight highlights include performing a spacewalk, flying the robotic arm to capture the first HTV freeflyer cargo vehicle, painting a watercolor, working with her crewmates on science that’s all about improving life on Earth, and of course the view out the window. As an aquanaut she spent 18 days with her NEEMO9 mission crew on the Aquarius undersea habitat. She’s brought her love of space and art together through the founding of the Space for Art Foundation, and her first book titled “Back to Earth” will be released in Fall 2021.
Ron Garan is a decorated NASA astronaut, fighter pilot and test pilot. artist and humanitarian. Ron has spent 178 days in space and has traveled more than 71 million miles during 2,842 orbits of our planet. He flew on both the US space shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, where he accomplished four spacewalks. Ron also spent eighteen days at the bottom of the ocean during a research mission held in the world’s only undersea research lab, Aquarius.
Later, Ron was assigned to the US Agency for International Development, leading the Unity Node project. The project’s task was to develop a universal, open-source platform, enabling humanitarian organizations to work toward mutual goals. In 2007, Ron co-founded Manna Energy Limited. Created with the goal of leveraging the carbon market to finance humanitarian projects, Manna is the first organization in the world to register a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit program for water treatment.
W. Lowell Putnam is the great-grandnephew of Lowell Observatory founder Percival Lowell. He currently serves as the 5th Sole Trustee of the observatory, having succeeded his father, Bill, in 2013. Putnam holds a B.S. in Psychology from American International College in Massachusetts. In 1984, he founded Video Communications, Inc. (VCI), a software company specializing in business systems for TV networks, cable channels and local TV Stations.He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Northern Arizona University in 2018.
Alden Tombaugh was born in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1945. The son of Pluto discoverer Clyde and Patsy, Alden is now retired from a career in banking. He also served as a building contractor for years. For two decades, Alden and his wife, Cherylee, have owned and operated Tombaugh Educational Diagnostics, Inc., an educational services business.
Dr. Will Grundy’s research involves icy outer Solar System planets, satellites, and Kuiper belt objects, using a broad variety of observational, theoretical, laboratory, and space-based techniques. He is a co-investigator on NASA’s New Horizons mission that encountered the Pluto system in 2015 and a small Kuiper belt object in 2019. He heads the mission’s surface composition science theme team.
David Eicher is Editor-in-Chief of AstronomyMagazine, the world’s largest publication on the subject, and the author of 25 books on science and history. Among his recent works are GALAXIES and COSMIC CLOUDS 3-D, the latter coauthored with astrophysicist and Queen guitarist Brian May. Eicher is also an avid historian and mineral collector, and counts Lowell Observatory as one of his favorite places.
Dr. Bill Sheehan is co-author, with Dale Cruikshank, of Discovering Pluto: exploration at the edge of the Solar System. He began to correspond with Clyde Tombaugh in 1985, met him in 1991, and plans (with Kevin Schindler) to write up Clyde’s many important contributions to planetary astronomy apart from Pluto. He wears the same hat size as Percival Lowell.
Astronomer and Discoverer of Charon/Namesake of Charon
James “Jim” Christy discovered Pluto’s moon, Charon, on June 22, 1978 from images taken at the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station. In naming it, Christy used a designation that not only conformed to the tradition of naming celestial objects after mythological characters, but that also honored his wife, Charlene.
Victoria Girgis has been a Public Programs Educator at Lowell Observatory for nearly 3 years. During this time, she has found a passion for teaching children. She is currently pursuing a bachelor of science degree in physics at Northern Arizona University.
Former Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans is a social and public policy entrepreneur and third generation Flagstaffian. She currently lives in the family home that her grandfather built in 1942 in Flagstaff’s historic Southside neighborhood. She is a published author, a small business owner and in the process of finishing her PhD in Sustainability Education at Prescott College.
Dr. Jeff Hall joined the staff at Lowell in 1992 as a postdoctoral research fellow and stayed on as an astronomer, specializing in the study of the Sun and Sun-like star, with the goal of lending an astronomical perspective to solar influences on terrestrial climate. He heads the American Astronomical Society’s standing committee on light pollution, space debris, and radio interference, and has played an active role in dark-sky preservation efforts around Arizona.
Jeff Gonyea created Zack and Zoey Adventures to assist and grow the Space and STEM learning of his then 6-year -old daughter who loves space. Now 9, Zoey still wants to be an astronaut and together, Jeff and Zoey have gone beyond their children’s books to create an entire Space & STEM brand for kids which includes books, STEM to Bloom magazine, running an observatory and STEM-themed virtual and in-person events, like this one. One of the highlights of our brand is the issue of STEM to Bloom we created in partnership with Lowell Observatory all about Pluto!
Marilynn Flynn’s artwork has appeared in numerous books, magazines, TV programs, DVDs, science exhibits, art shows and websites. Her paintings have been commissioned by such prestigious organizations as the Earth & Space Foundation, The Planetary Society and NASA. Her artwork is in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as well as in private and corporate art collections.
Daniel D. Durda has more than 25 years of experience researching the collisional and dynamical evolution of main-belt and near-Earth asteroids, Vulcanoids, Kuiper belt comets, and interplanetary dust. He is an active pilot with time logged in over a dozen types of aircraft and has spent over 110 minutes of time in zero-gravity conducting experiments on NASA’s KC-135 Reduced Gravity Research Aircraft. A finalist in the 2004 NASA astronaut selection, Durda is one of three SwRI payload specialists who will fly on multiple suborbital spaceflights with Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. He has co-authored a book, published numerous articles popularizing planetary science and human exploration of space, and has appeared in over 70 nationally-broadcast television science documentaries. He is a Fellow and former member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Astronomical Artists; his space art has appeared in many magazines and books and has been internationally exhibited.
Ron Miller is an illustrator and author specializing in astronomical subjects. His space art appears regularly in magazines such as Astronomy and Scientific American. He is the author of nearly 60 books of his own, including two histories of space art and two biographies of Chesley Bonestell. He also designs book covers, and has worked on motion pictures. Ron also holds the distinction for the artist who created the art for the farthest distance traveled by a postage stamp!
Jon Ramer is a fellow artist and former President of the International Association of Astronomical Artists. A life-long lover of astronomy and art, Jon’s work has been seen in numerous space art exhibitions across the world in the past 20 years. He has also given many talks in planetariums on astronomical topics and hosted panels at Planetfest and SpaceFest. His works can be seen in the newly published book “The Beauty of Space Art” by Springer Nature, which he wrote and co-edited.
Kevin Schindler is the historian at Lowell Observatory. When not digging through Lowell’s archives, he writes articles for a variety of publications and contribute a bi-weekly astronomy column, “View from Mars Hill”, for the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper. He has written several books, including Pluto and Lowell Observatory, co-authored with Dr. will Grundy.