Staff

Paul Dusenbery

Paul B. Dusenbery

Paul B. Dusenbery: NCIL Director

Paul received his B.A. in Physics from Whitman College in 1972 and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1978 from the University of New Hampshire specializing in space plasma physics. He was a Research Associate at the University of Colorado, Boulder from 1982-1990. In September of 1989, he became the Program Director of the Magnetospheric Physics Program at the National Science Foundation.

In October 1992, he was appointed Executive Director of the Space Science Institute (SSI), a nonprofit research and education organization, located in Boulder, Colorado. In 2010, SSI’s Board of Directors appointed him Director of the National Center for Interactive Learning. In June 2014, he stepped down as Executive Director to devote full time to directing NCIL. From 1995-2004, he led the development of a successful workshop series for scientists and engineers to learn how to implement effective formal and informal STEM education programs. He was the project director and led the development of major national traveling exhibitions: Electric Space, Space Weather Center, MarsQuest, Destination Mars, Alien Earths, Giant Worlds, and recently Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors. He has also led and participated in numerous professional development workshops for classroom teachers, science museum educators, and library staff. Currently, he directs the national library education program called the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), in partnership with the American Library Association and many library and STEM education organizations. The STAR Net program includes traveling STEM exhibitions, activities and training for librarians, an outreach program in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance, a community of practice for librarians and STEM professionals, and evaluation and research. Several projects are part of STAR Net: Discover NASA, NASA@ My Library, and Project BUILD. STAR Net is supported by a number of sources: NSF, NASA, NIH, and IMLS. He was also the PI and project director for the first Public Libraries & STEM Conference in Denver, Colorado in August, 2015. This NSF-funded conference brought together 160 leaders from both the public library and STEM education communities to help define a new 21st century vision of STEM learning in public libraries.

James Harold

James Harold

James Harold: Senior Education Associate

James Harold has a research background in space physics (Ph.D. in physics, Univ. of Maryland), and is currently Director of Information Systems and Technology for the Space Science Institute. Jaime has a long interest in the role of computers, simulations, and games in education. He has been involved in a wide range of space science education programs, including the NASA Office of Space Science (now Science Mission Directorate) Education Support Network, which sought to enhance NASA’s education involvement through more effective scientist involvement and more cohesive education programs. He was the development lead for the software components of the Alien Earths and Giant Worlds traveling exhibits and accompanying web sites, as well as the Space Weather Center website. He was Co-I on the NASA/HST funded MyStar project (a small stellar evolution game), and the NSF funded Hydrobot project (a 3D Hydrobot simulator game). Jaime is currently Co-I and software development lead for the NSF funded Great Balls of Fire exhibit, PI of the NSF and NASA funded Finding NEO project (developing, among other things, a physics based asteroid deflection game), and PI of Making Space Social, which is creating a social game for Facebook dealing with stellar and planetary evolution.


Anne Holland

Anne Holland

Anne Holland: Public Engagement Manager

Anne’s professional training includes a B.S. and a B.A in Astrophysics and English Writing from the University of Hawaii in 2007 (along with minors in math and geology), and a Master’s in Science in Space Studies form the University of North Dakota in 2012. She has previously conducted astronomy based outreach for the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station, Hawaii Forest and Trail, and various youth groups. Anne also worked at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science prior to joining NCIL in Fall 2010.

As Public Engagement Manager at NCIL, Anne manages all the library (STAR_Net) and museum (Great Balls of Fire) tours, and serves as Project Manager for many NCIL programs. Anne also leads SSI’s outreach efforts, visiting schools, libraries and science centers and conducting hands-on science programs (like stargazing). Anne is Co-I on Phase 2 of the STAR Library Education Network, NASA @ My Library and Discover NASA: From Our Town to Outer Space. Anne is also an active presenter at the American Library Association ,Colorado Association of Libraries and Association of Science and Technology Centers, as well as a core member of the Coalition for the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS).

Keliann LaConte

Keliann LaConte

Keliann LaConte: Professsional Development Manager

Keliann has provided STEM learning experiences to youth and adults on a range of topics in a variety of settings, from biology explorations on the beach in California to astronomy outreach in inner city Denver. Her training includes a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Denver; she also has a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Engineering from Caltech, and she performed astrobiology research at JPL. She is a trained in the communication process of heritage interpretation, with certifications from the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Heritage Interpreter (CHI) and Certified Interpretive Trainer (CIT).

Keliann has provided professional development for librarians for the past seven years, including as a member of the NSF-funded STAR_Net project and co-convener of the 2015 Public Libraries & STEM conference. She joined the NCIL team in 2016 as Professional Development Manager, where she facilitates in-person and online training. She leads the development of active learning experiences for the library setting, working with professionals from the library, education, and STEM fields to develop a portfolio of activity guides for NASA and NSF content areas.

She has held leadership positions on SMD Planetary Division projects, including the NASA Science Mission Directorate Education and Public Outreach Planetary Forum, the NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) / Institute for the Science of Exploration Targets (ISET), and a Mars research supplement for education.

Brooks Mitchell

Brooks Mitchell

Brooks Mitchell - Education Coordinator

Brooks graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in geology and a minor in anthropology in 2012. Since then, he has been involved with informal science education in a wide array of settings. Brooks played a large role in the design and development of Georgia Aquarium’s “Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone” gallery and served as the geological and paleontological specialist for Fernbank Museum’s “WildWoods” exhibit. He also served as the Geology Expert for About.com, where he wrote and edited geoscience articles for the public.

Brooks joined the NCIL team as Education Coordinator in May of 2017, where he works on professional development efforts for librarians through NASA- and NSF-funded projects. He helps manage STAR_Net’s STEM Activity Clearinghouse; facilitates STAR Net, NASA@ My Library, and Project BUILD webinars; and creates how-to videos for hands-on activities. Brooks also represents NCIL as an active presenter at American Library Association (ALA), Mountain Plain Library Association (MPLA), and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) conferences and symposiums. He was the featured speaker for the City of Toccoa (Georgia) and Toccoa-Stephens County Public Library during the 2017 Solar Eclipse.

Greg Mosshammer

Greg Mosshammer

Greg Mosshammer: Web Content Manager

A 1993 graduate of Purdue University, Greg earned his B.S. in Technical Graphics (Computer Graphics Technology) from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, one of the largest and highest ranked technology schools in the U.S.

With over 20 years of previous experience working for large corporations (FrigidaireDana), small-to-medium-size businesses and internet startups, he has developed a comprehensive skill-set in variety of different areas including web design and development, print design and production, project and content management, email marketing and social media management.

In March of 2016, he joined the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning as their Web Content Manager. By June of 2016, he had redesigned, developed and launched the current version of the STAR Net website which added numerous tools and resources to effectively disseminate information to the library community. In September of 2016, he began developing specialized event sections dedicated to providing programming resources directly to public libraries which included International Observe The Moon NightWomen’s History MonthEarth DayCassini’s Grand Finale, Lights On Afterschool and the 2017 Solar Eclipse which has received nearly 1 Million pageviews alone since it was launched in the Fall of 2016.

During this time, Greg has also lead the growth and development of STAR Net’s social media presence, managed NCIL’s STEM Activity Clearinghouse, developed numerous supporting print and exhibition materials and participated on several project teams for STAR NetNASA@ My Library, Moore/Google and Project BUILD.

Evaldas Vidugiris

Evaldas Vidugiris

Evaldas Vidugiris: Senior Developer

Evaldas is a graduate in studio arts from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a certificate in Technology, Arts and Media (2003). He joined the Space Science Institute in 2002 and has been the primary programmer for a wide variety of interactive activities and games for NASA and NSF funded projects, including MarsQuest Online, Alien Earths, Giant Worlds, the Space Weather Center, Hydrobot, Great Balls of Fire, and Finding NEO. In addition to development tools such as Flash and Director, his expertise in PHP has allowed us to develop online activities which track user interactions for later evaluation. He also has experience developing multi-touch applications for both Flash and the Microsoft Surface.

Advisors

Robert L. Russell

Robert L. Russell

Robert L. Russell: Senior Advisor

Robert L. Russell (Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, Cornell) brings over 30 years of experience in STEM education to NCIL spanning children's museums, science centers, community organizations, and media. His experience includes project design, development, and management; evaluation of exhibit, community/youth, and media projects; private foundation and government grant development; and conduct of professional development workshops in project planning, evaluation, and grant development. Bob's unique strengths include his experience in designing and evaluating projects targeting underserved minorities, including Hispanics and African-Americans; designing health education projects; using social marketing approaches in science and health education; and designing media-focused projects, including print media, radio, television, and large format films. Russell has taught psychology at Cornell and Georgetown Universities and has published widely on informal science education and has published peer-reviewed research on social networks, cross-cultural psychology, and cognitive development.

Currently, Bob directs a national Spanish-language science news service; is building a national Latino STEM education network, based on the NSF-funded Expanding Informal Science for Latinos conference; and is serving as an evaluator or consultant on a number of informal STEM education projects. He is leading the development of several NCIL initiatives to expand the involvement of Latinos in environmental education; to develop the Discover Health project; and to develop a conference designed to expand the involvement of research scientists in STEM.

Bob is currently on leave at the National Science Foundation.