Dr. John Keller is the Director of Fiske Planetarium and a Teaching Professor of Distinction within the Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. Keller is a planetary scientist with research interests in occultations, astronomy education, and teacher preparation. He is PI and Co-PI for multiple NASA and NSF funded projects through which Fiske produces immersive full dome films that are shared with the planetarium community worldwide free of charge. He also helped establish and run the Research and Education Collaborative Occultation Network (RECON), an NSF-funded citizen science effort involving over 40 high schools across the western US to measure objects out beyond Neptune using stellar occultations, and he has contributed to international occultation campaigns on three continents for the NASA New Horizons and NASA Lucy missions. Keller is also a Professor Emeritus from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where he directed the Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education (CESAME) and ran the STEM Teacher and Researcher (STAR) Program, which provides paid summer research experiences at national labs for aspiring science and math teachers. Keller was also PI for three awards from the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program.
After obtaining a BS in Biology and an MA in Education from Stanford University, Dr. Keller taught high school science in the Bay Area for five years. He completed an MS in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado and his PhD in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona where he worked for the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission. His dissertation also involved the development of a concept inventory instrument to uncover student misconceptions regarding the greenhouse effect.
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