Last modified: 1 March 2008
It’s sort of a prerequisite, I suppose, to talk about oneself on one’s own webpage, and I guess that’s not an insurmountable obstacle for me, as my attempts at blogging about myself clearly demonstrate. This page will relate (as you might guess from the title) a few facts about me, and the rest of the site, for better or for worse, follows a general design I laid out several years ago. My thinking at the time? That I would use the space to reflect on various topics as well as to opine at some length on literature and music. As I thought about it more, I decided I also wanted a space for some of my artwork, too. All these various spaces are still very much under construction.
I recently accepted a position as the Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Later this year, the Academy will open the world’s largest green building open to the public, part of an institution dedicated largely to educating about the environment, global systems, and climate change. (For more info about the project I’ve also assembled a self-centered web page about the Academy, that links to articles about the institution and my role in it.) I miss my friends and colleagues in New York, and I have certainly experienced a bit of homesickness for the City, but the challenges and potential rewards of opening such a phenomenal new institution were too much for this tree-hugging Western boy to ignore. So here I am!
Before moving to the Left Coast, I held the auspicious title of “science visualizer” at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City. I lasted a full six years there—about as long as I’ve spent any single place, and indeed, much of the appeal had to do with Manhattan, although I also appreciated the challenges of the work environment, too.
Previously, I’d run planetariums at the LodeStar Astronomy Center, the Arizona Science Center, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. You can take a look at my “kitchen-sink” vitae for exhaustive information on my background, should you feel so inclined: it even references cartooning gigs for my college newspaper.
I’m still getting to know San Francisco, but I can identify a few favorite spots… SF MOMA doesn’t quite stack up to its East Coast counterpart, but it does feature some pretty decent exhibits—including an extensive Olafur Eliasson collection quite recently. I’ve also seen a couple decent performances at the American Conservatory Theater, although I need to get across the Bay and check out the Berkeley Rep. And this is a great city for foodies… My faves so far are Zuni Café, Range, 2223, and Café Claude (although I’m also quite fond of Le Charm for French cuisine).
And of course, there are always books and music: their influence holds enormous sway over me, but you can find out more about those by canvassing my opinions elsewhere.
I grew up in Indiana and Arizona, and I consider the West my spiritual home. New York definitely qualifies as my intellectual home, with its various challenges and offerings. Oddly enough, two towns I spent the least time in—Ithaca, New York, where I attended Cornell University, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I worked at the LodeStar Astronomy Center—inspire the greatest nostalgia in me. Eventually, we’ll see how San Francisco fits into all this…
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