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  • This quarter, I will be teaching:

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  • OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

  • SCIENCE BLOGGING: I am a regular contributor at the WriteScience Blog. You can see all of my posts here.

  • I was formerly the director of the Science Unwrapped program at Utah State Unviersity. On the last Friday of every month, Science Unwrapped gives public programs on science (often a lecture or other direct interactive experience with a practicing scientist) followed by an event designed to give the public personal hands on experience with a related science activity. Please join them!

  • I am a practicing amateur astronomer and was an active member of the The Cache Valley Astronomical Society (formerly the Cache Valley Stargazers). I was also the director of the new USU Observatory, located on the roof of the SER building on the USU-Logan campus and operated by the Department of Physics.

  • I regularly give public lectures about physics, astronomy, gravitational waves and black holes all over the West for amateur astronomers, teacher's groups and musuems. If you are interested in have a public lecture for your organization, feel free to contact me, .

  • I am also an avid Rocketeer, and memeber of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR #73310). I recently completed a long distance mentorship program with Gabriel Rudy and Daniel Patterson at the Loomis-Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. Gabe and Dan, for their senior project, built and flew a model rocket which carried a digital video camera. If Gabe puts the flight video online, I'll link to it from here!

  • I was a founding member of and still active with the high altitude balloon program, called HARBOR. HARBOR is a system based on an inexpensive weather balloon, which can carry up to a 5.4 kg (12 lb) payload to altitudes of 30,500 meters (100,000+ feet). The purpose of the program is to give students (K-12, and college) the opportunity to design and fly experiments to the edge of space! It is a fantastic program to be a part of. We are currently in the process of devising a second set of flight hardware at Utah State University, and are expanding our science initiatives to explore problems related to atmospheric sampling and profiling.


    OUTREACH ARTICLES

    Gravity Primers
    The Gravity Primers are a new effort I have been leading at the IGPG/CGWP. We are creating a series of short (4 page) articles which highlight areas of current research in gravitational physics. The Primers distill the key ideas and jargon down into a short document which can be read or skimmed by anyone in order to gain enough basic information that they can grasp the big ideas which might be presented in a colloquium on gravitational physics. The idea is not restrictive to gravity; it could be implemented in almost any area of physics in any department! Email me if you'd like to chat about the idea, the philosophy of the documents, or obtain our Primer template.

    Other Articles
    As part of my outreach efforts, I like to write science at a more accessible level than the journals where my main research is published. Some of these writings are at a completely non-technical level, others are aimed at a beginning math/science level for the novice practicioner (whether that person is simply interested, or is just starting their own career in science, math, or engineering), and others are simply explorations of questions which may be of interest to a wide audience (lots of people like to think about meteors; few people like to think about tensor analysis). To date these efforts have included:

    • "Gravitational Waves: new observatories for new astronomy", accepted in The Physics Teacher, (2005).
      Louis J. Rubbo, Shane L. Larson, Michelle B. Larson and Kristina D. Zaleski
      available at physics/0509201 on the LANL ePrint server

    • "Science Icebreaker Activities: An example from gravitational wave astronomy", accepted in The Physics Teacher, (2005).
      Michelle B. Larson, Louis J. Rubbo, Kristina D. Zaleski and Shane L. Larson
      available at physics/0503198 on the LANL ePrint server

    • "Determination of meteor showers on other planets using comet ephemerides", Astronomical Journal, 121, 1722 (2001); available at physics/9912047 on the LANL ePrint server

    • "Ripples on a cosmic sea: gravitational waves and the new astronomy", Quantum,11(4), 4 (2001).

    • "Is dark matter theory or fact?", for Scientific American's feature Ask the Experts (15 June 1998)


    OUTREACH ACTIVITIES

    I have been involved in the concept or design of several outreach projects. Here are some links to those:
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    Last Updated: 14 January 2014