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Photo courtesy of Dennis Mammana



About Us

Bob Nansen is the Field Operations Coordinator for Betchart Expeditions. Bob coordinates the leaders, representatives, and the educational aspects of the expeditions. Bob has had a varied career in outdoor education from living in the Galapagos Islands, teaching in California Community Colleges, an interpreter for the U.S. National Park Service, and for the last 20 plus years leading educational expeditions for Betchart Expeditions for the leading museums, zoos, universities, and professional scientific organizations in the country.

Dennis Mammana has delivered the wonders and the mystery of the cosmos to millions around the world during his 30 years as a astronomer.

Mammana has held positions at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum, University of Arizona, and San Diego's Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Dennis is the author of six astronomy books and has written the "Stargazer", the only nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column on astronomy in the United States. Dennis now photographs the night sky from his home in Southern California, lectures, leads astronomy tours, and each winter finds him photographing the aurora in Alaska.

Representative Guests

Dr. Louis Friedman is the Executive Director and cofounder of the Planetary Society. Dr. Friedman worked at JLP planning deep space missions. His projects included Mariner-Venus-Mercury, the Grand Tour (Voyager), Venus Orbital Imaging Radar (Magellan), Halley Comet Rendezvous-Solar Sail, and the Mars Program. He has accompanied TPS members to Antarctica, Alaska Aurora Borealis, and is planning to see the Solar Eclipse in Tibet in 2008.

Bud Schurmeier served as the first Project Manager for the Voyager Mission and became the Assistant Laboratory Director of JPL in 1976. He served as Project Manager for the Mars Balloon and Mars Rovers, two major projects of The Planetary Society. He continues has involvement with TPS as head of the review committee for the Cosmos 1 project. Bud has accompanied TPS members to Antarctica and Alaska Aurora Borealis.

Dr. Hugh Kiefer received has doctorate in Planetary Science at Cal Tech and taught at UCLA for 10 years. In 1976 he joined the USGS Astrogeology group in Flagstaff as a Research Geophysicist. He was the Principal Investigator of the Viking Infrared Thermal Mapper and a Team Member of servile airborne, earth orbiting instruments, and was the lead author of the book, Mars. Hugh has accompanied TPS members to see the Transit of Venus in Scotland and accompanied members of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences to Antarctica.




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