Jim will describe some of his experiences working with professional astronomers on various projects. He will then suggest ways that an interested amateur can find ways to contribute directly to advancing astronomical science.
When asked how he got into astronomy, “I always wanted to be an astronomer, once I got through the cowboy and fireman stage of young boys in the 1950s,” Jim claims, “but then I found out what they got paid and looked for something that would support it as a hobby.” He ended up working 37 years as a chemical engineer to maintain that support. Along the way, he became a telescope maker, having completed some 30 Newtonian mirrors. “I even tried a Cassegrain, once, but gave up on that convex secondary.” He has taught astronomy classes at local museums and co-designed and co-taught Astronomy Lab for the Amateur at the University of Minnesota. Always interested in amateur research contributions, Jim has submitted observations to AAVSO, ALPO, IOTA and various individual investigators. On the administrative side of astronomy, Jim has chaired the League’s North Central Region and has been elected Secretary and President of the Astronomical League. He served a term on the Board of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and for several years he chaired the Photoelectric Photometry section of AAVSO. In 2014, the League honored Jim with its Leslie C, Peltier award for accomplishments in observing. Now, Jim and his wife, Stephanie, live at 7300 feet in the Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico where he continues photoelectric photometry at his Makalii Observatory.
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 10:00 to 12:00
Friday, August 18, 2017 - 14:00