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Paul Goudfrooij

Paul Goudfrooij

(STScI)

Dr. Paul Goudfrooij was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His choice to pursue a career in astronomy became crystal clear during his junior year in high school, when he followed a TV course on astronomy during which he was totally blown away by the sheer beauty of astronomical images and the opportunity to learn exciting information about the distances and ages of stars, the history of the universe, and the origin of the chemical elements.

He studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Leiden (a half-hour train ride away from home, which felt much more significant in the small country of the Netherlands than it does in the U.S.). He obtained his Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Amsterdam, where his thesis work entailed an extensive optical survey of dust and ionized gas in elliptical galaxies. He then spent 2.5 years as postdoctoral fellow at the European Southern Observatory in Garching near Munich, Germany, before jumping onto the opportunity to join the scientific staff of STScI in 1996. He is currently in charge of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph Team.

Since Paul became acquainted with the exquisitely sharp eye of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), much of his research has focused on globular clusters in external galaxies, because HST allows one to study these clusters in detail even in distant galaxies. Globular clusters are among the few observable fossil records of the formation of galaxies, and hence their properties can tell us very interesting information about how galaxies were assembled.

When out of the office, Paul and his wife Karen enjoy various sports, hiking, camping, photography, cuddling their cats, cooking, and music.


François Schweizer

François Schweizer

(Carnegie Observatories)

François Schweizer is a staff astronomer at the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California. He received his Licentiate in Astronomy from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. After two years as a post-doctoral Fellow at the Carnegie Observatories (then named Hale Observatories) and five years as an astronomer at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, Dr. Schweizer returned to the U.S. in 1981 to join the staff of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, first at its Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, D.C., and then at its Observatories in Pasadena.

In addition to his research into the formation of globular clusters, Dr. Schweizer studies the structure, formation, and evolution of galaxies. For many years, he has focused his work on colliding and merging galaxies. Once thought to be interesting but rare events, collisions and mergers are now perceived as one of the dominant processes governing galaxy formation and evolution. To obtain new data, he collaborates with teams using the Hubble Space Telescope as well as the Chandra X-ray and Spitzer Infrared Telescopes, and travels regularly to Chile to observe with the Magellan 6.5-meter telescopes at Carnegie's Las Campanas Observatory.

Dr. Schweizer is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, The Planetary Society, and the International Astronomical Union. Though fascinated by cosmic collisions, he tries to avoid collisions while driving, bicycling, and operating a digitally controlled model railroad. He and his wife Linda have enjoyed raising four daughters.


Brad Whitmore

Brad Whitmore

(STScI)

Brad Whitmore is an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland. He specializes in collisions between galaxies and the star clusters that form during these collisions. He received his PhD in astronomy at the University of Michigan in 1980, was a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism until 1982, taught at Arizona State University in 1983, and has been at STScI ever since. His contributions range from helping to design the observing proposal system at STScI, being the group lead for the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 Group, and the Division Head for the Instrument Divsion. His present position is Deputy Division Head of the Science Division.

Brad's "outside" interests include hiking, mountain climbing, adventure racing, and orienteering, where he has been the national champion in his age groups three times. He lives on a small hobby farm with his wife Julie, four llamas, a dozen sheep, thirty chickens, eight cats, and their English springer Plum. His son Ian is an established artist in Washington DC, and his daughter Jocelyn is a student at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.


Diane Karakla

Diane Karakla

(STScI)

Diane Karakla hails from Worcester, Massachusetts. She became interested in Astronomy as a young girl peering through her brother's telescope from the back yard of her home (long ago -- when stars could still be seen from the city at night). Her interest in Astronomy really blossomed when she learned that the Sun was actually a star and that galaxies are made of billions of stars! After years of wonderment at the sky and its endless mysteries, she earned her B.S. degree in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Mass. and a M.A. in Astronomy in 1985 from the University of VA in Charlottesville. She jumped at the opportunity to experience a career in astronomy through summer internships at the Maria Mitchell Observatory and at NRAO, which served to cement her desire to pursue a career in the field. In 1987, she began work as a data analyst at STScI.

Her interest in Astronomy was fostered by her parents, who worked hard at "normal" jobs to provide her with a good education. Her husband John, from whom she derives her somewhat unusual last name, shares her sense of humor and interest in Astronomy. He builds "astronomer-proof" electronic equipment for use on radio telescopes at UMass. Diane currently works as a Science and Instrument Support Specialist with STScI and, besides dabbling in data analysis at every opportunity, she coordinate's the user support effort for the Instruments Division. Her scientific interests are broad but she's especially intrigued by galaxy formation and evolution. To her, the most inspiring (and frustrating!) thing about Astronomy is that there's always something new and interesting to learn...the mysteries never end.

She's a decent quilter and loves to learn new techniques from the pros. She also enjoys trying new ethnic recipes occassionally, and just spending time outdoors (hiking and camping) with her husband and dog "Skye".