I am a part-time professor at GPC and I occasionally teach online courses for other colleges around the country. I teach full-time at Johnson Count Community College, in the Kansas City area. I have taught courses in math, physics, physical science and astronomy. I have reviewed textbooks such as Astronomy: Journey to the Cosmic Frontier 5/e by John D. Fix and Pathways to Astronomy 2nd and 3rd editions by Schneider/Arny. I am a member of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. I serve on various committees here at JCCC and co-host our semi-annual Evening with the Stars talks, which are free and open to the public. For years, I served as our college liaison for the Northeast Regional Science Olympiad competition. I also occasionally host Scout nights at our Paul Tebbe Observatory.
I love all science, but my main interests are in cosmology and the foundations of physics. I spend lots of time exploring and reading up on the latest research that addresses the essential nature and origin of everything we know. I also enjoy “hallway” talks on just about any scientific topic.
My teaching philosophy is to focus on concepts and causal relationships with discussion and hands-on experience whenever possible. Vocabulary and some basic facts are very useful to have memorized, especially if one is going to speak with someone knowledgeable about the topic, but it is not the most important part of learning. I want students to understand the processes by which different aspects of the physical universe come about. It is also important that students see the power and generality of a few mathematical laws.
Brief Professional History
I started my working life in the early 1980’s working as a machinist and microelectronics technician for aerospace companies around Southern California. After college and graduate school, I taught for years as an adjunct instructor for Longview and Blue River Community Colleges, teaching math, physics, astronomy, and a few other courses. Later, I began teaching physics and chemistry full-time at Fort Osage High School while continuing to teach astronomy classes at Blue River Community College. While at the high school, I took classes and earned a Missouri teaching credential in unified science. After teaching at the high school for 3 years, I decided I wanted a full-time faculty position at one of the local colleges. I became an assistant professor at Johnson County Community College fall of 2002.
Though born in Lawrence, KS, I grew up in the Los Angeles area and spent much of my life on the beaches around the Los Angeles area. I attended grade school and high school there, and after working in the L.A. area for several years, and serving in the Navy, I went to college to study physics at the University of California, San Diego. I later studied physics, as a graduate student, at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.
The biggest part of my life is my family. We currently reside in Olathe, Kansas. Together, my wife and I have four healthy boys. From oldest to youngest they are: Ben, Cole, Daniel and Corey. Though varied significantly in their personalities, they share lots of common interests and get along very well. Their heads and hearts are in the right place, and we are thankful for each of them.
Hobbys & Entertainment
I dabble in photography and guitar (much to my family’s annoyance) and I enjoy evening walks with my dog, Bear. As far as movies and TV, I generally like action, but in must be accompanied by an original and thought-provoking plot. I grew up a hard rocker in the 70’s, listening to groups like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith and Van Halen. Today, I tend to prefer music with no vocals and heavy guitar, such as music by guitarists Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Gary Hoey, Buckethead and Craig Parker Adams. I also listen to “classical” music with some favorites like Hovhannes, Vaughan Williams, Albinoni and of course, Mozart and Bach.