Jason Kendall
William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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Kevin Marvel: Astronomer, Administrator, and All-Around Nifty Guy
February 9, 2009

Kevin Marvel was born at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in September 1967. Moving throughout his childhood, he ultimately graduated from J.J. Pearce High School in Dallas, Texas. He subsequently attended the University of Arizona, where he received B.S. degrees in Astronomy and Physics with minors in Physics and Mathematics, respectively. He attended New Mexico State University from 1990 to 1996, earning a M.S. in Astronomy in 1994 and a Ph.D. in 1996. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumni award from NMSU.s College of Arts and Sciences.

His dissertation research was carried out at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory using the Very Long Baseline Array, a distributed set of 10 antennas spread across the United States from Hawaii to Puerto Rico. Using this telescope, he was able to measure the motions of small radio frequency emitting gas clouds known as masers found around large evolved stars and more accurately determine the distance to several of them with high accuracy. Such measurements help constrain models of stellar evolution and uncover the dynamics of the extended atmospheres of such stars.

Beginning in 1996, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology's Owens Valley Radio Observatory where he helped test and implement a new system to correct for the atmospheric degradation of short wavelength radio waves observed with the millimeter array radio telescope. During his spare time at OVRO he enjoyed fly-fishing, hiking in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains and exploring Death Valley National Park.

In 1998, he accepted a position at the American Astronomical Society as Associate Executive Officer for Public Policy and Employment Policy programs. In 2002 he was named Deputy Executive Officer. His responsibilities have mainly focused on direct lobbying of policy makers as well as managing various smaller programs within the AAS executive office.

In July 2006, he was chosen as Executive Officer and is now responsible for all aspects of Society operations, including the publishing of the primary research journals in Astronomy, the Astrophysical Journal and Astronomical Journal and the organization of the two major annual meetings of the Society and meetings of the Society.s divisions.

He is married to Tamara Koch and lives in Alexandria, VA with their two cats Rhett and Scarlett. They enjoy boating, house renovation and travel. Their favorite vacation is a camping trip at the San Juan River in Northwestern New Mexico, where the fly-fishing is great and the green chile hot.

This is his page...



About Jason Kendall

I am currently adjunct faculty at William Paterson University teaching astronomy. I hold a Master of Science in Astronomy from New Mexico State University. I am also a board member of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York. Since 2008, I have led the Inwood Astronomy Project which brought over 200 events of stargazing and public astronomy outreach to upper Manhattan, including the historic Inwood Star Fest, where Inwood Hill Park lights were turned off as part of the 100 Hours of Astronomy event in IYA2009. This was the first time in New York City history when park lights were turned off for an astronomy event. I've also focused on park safety due to an uptick in sexual assaults in Washington Heights and Inwood during 2011. I've worked to make our parks safer by encouraging public use of parks at night through night-time events with Park Rangers. I have led numerous "starwatching parties" and astronomy events in New York City, New Mexico, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut and Texas. I am also proud to have been part of the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Program from 2009 to 2012. It all started way back in the fourth grade by the encouragement of two noted astronomers, Charles Schweighauser and Bart Bok. I saw Saturn through Charlie's telescope at then Sangamon State University on a clear Illinois night, and Bart encouraged me under those stars to study hard to come visit him at Kitt Peak National Observatory. I finally did make it down there about a decade after Bart passed away, and I found the favorite spots in Tucson, Arizona, where Bart and his wife Priscilla would spend when they were not gazing at the stars. Bart and his wife were pioneers in the study of the Milky Way, and their studies of the starforming regions called Bok Globules. It's even in my family. My great-grandfather was a Midwestern minister who used to preach his sermons out under the dark, cloudless nights. He always believed that getting out and experiencing the wonders of the natural world was a central part of being human. My family has always been inspired by his words: "We look up to look within." I hope that you'll join me under the stars or at one of my talks.

Come see what's up in the sky!

Jason Kendall

We look up to look within

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

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