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Paul Eskridge

As I recall, I decided I wanted to be an astronomer when I was 9 years old. I'm a double-barrelled second generation academic (my father was a professor of biochemistry at SUNY-Buffalo, my mother is a geneticist at Roswell Park Memorial Institute), so I knew what I was getting into. I received my B.S. degree in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology in 1982, my M.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1987) in Astronomy from the University of Washington.

Since then, I've been wandering around the country for longer than I care to think about. I have held various positions at Astronomy and Physics Departments throughout the U.S. including the University of Illinois, Dudley Observatory at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the University of Alabama. I was most recently a Research Associate in the Deparment of Astronomy, The Ohio State University where I worked on the Ohio State Spiral Galaxy Survey with Jay Frogel. In August 2001 I began a faculty appointment at Minnesota State.

My research interest in the properties of galaxies goes back to an undergraduate project with Wal Sargent and Fred Lo at Caltech. That general focus continued through my graduate work with Paul Hodge at the University of Washington, and has kept up as a unifying theme ever since. I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of good and clever people on a huge range of problems. A smattering includes the distribution of stars in halo dwarf galaxies, the abundances of extragalactic HII regions, the structure of disk galaxies, the multiphase ISM of ellipticals, and the distribution of star forming regions in galaxies.

For me, the central thread in all of those areas is the formation and evolution of structure in the Universe. A sort of inversion of the classic way of thinking about the problem: Rather than start with a thin soup of gas, and try to predict what it will do, I like to look at the end results and try to figure them out. You can't figure out how you got here until you know where you are.