Principal Investigator Bio's
by Erik Hanson - Sunday, December 3 2006, 08:13 PM
Dr. Mark Hofstadter

Dr. Mark Hofstadter

Lead Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Mark Hofstadter is GAVRTís lead Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, California. He studies comets and the atmospheres of Earth, Uranus, and Jupiter, using both ground-based telescopes and spacecraft. He received a B.S. degree in Physics from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology. His favorite hobby is beach volleyball.

While conducting a GAVRT teacher training class in Guam (for DoD teachers) in 2005, Mark enjoyed snorkeling in the beautiful Micronesian waters.

Dr. Steve Levin

Dr. Steve Levin

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Steven Levin has a passion for communicating with students about science! He has served as our lead scientist for the Student Science Phone Meetings since 2001. Steve has a talent for condensing answers about complex topics in an unbelievably short time span!

Dr. Levin received his Ph.D. in Physics from UC Berkeley in 1987. Steve has built and used radiometers to observe the Cosmic Microwave Background from mountaintops in California and from the South Pole, as well as from spacecraft. From 1990 until 1994, Dr. Levin was Integration and Test Scientist for the Sky Survey Element of NASAís SETI project, the High Resolution Microwave Survey. Steve has observed Jupiter from the VLA and cold molecular clouds with DSN radio telescopes.

Besides being the GAVRT Research Scientist for NASAís Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Steve is also the acting Deputy Project Scientist for the Juno Mission. GAVRT has been selected to participate with NASA in this project. The Juno Mission will conduct an in-depth study of Jupiter. They plan on launching in 2011 and reaching the giant planet in 2016.

Steve enjoys going to the park and feeding the birds with his daughters Madeleine, Shaina and son Brian! Together they conduct interesting science experiments!

Dave Maclaren

Dave MacLaren

Director of Global Programs, LCER

Dave MacLaren graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Psychology from San Diego State University in June of 1982. He received his credential in Elementary Education in June of 1984 from the California State University of San Bernardino. Dave enjoyed 16 years of classroom teaching in the elementary grade levels. The interest and excitement his students showed in science propelled him into accepting a hybrid teaching position with the Lewis Center for Educational Research in 2000.

Operating antennas, trouble shooting 34-meter NASA radio telescopes, and supporting teachers around the world who were teaching space science were just a small part of his position when he began with the Lewis Center. Although Dave is still involved in hands-on level, his responsibilities have expanded and include continued monitoring and involvement of ongoing, current and future GAVRT (Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope) campaigns as well as the ROVER Project development. Dave is also directly involved in the planning and scheduling for DoDEA (Department of Defense Education Activity) teacher trainings and curriculum products around the globe.

The GAVRT campaigns, Planet Rox, DoDEA and other upcoming projects require Daveís focus on the ongoing evolution and development of educational products and curriculum that guarantee trainings around the world to be successful. Dave is also heavily involved in the local outreach programs and ensuring their growing exposure to local school districts in exciting students by offering educational and fun field trips.

Presently Dave is the Director of Global Programs and is responsible for managing anything and everything related to the educational and operational aspects of Global Programs. The continued excitement of reaching kids and sparking an interest in science is the reward that Dave views as his greatest achievement.

John Nyhoff

John Nyhoff

Global Curriculum Developer

John Nyhoff received his Bachelorís degree in geology from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids Michigan. After college John moved to Kansas to run a 120-acre boys ranch. Here John developed a love for teaching and spent hours tutoring Junior High and High school age boys in job skills, schoolwork, and living skills. From Kansas John moved to Arizona and started a landscaping and lawn maintenance business while pursuing his teaching credential.

John began teaching in Arizona and taught physics, chemistry, and earth science at the junior high and high school levels. He moved to Apple Valley California in 2000 to continue his teaching carrier. He has taught for 14 years and currently has 40 plus hours toward his masterís degree in instruction and curriculum development.

John is the Global Curriculum Developer for the GAVRT Program and has been involved with the program for four years. He enjoys the challenge of working with scientists to develop scientifically sound lessons for grades K-12.

John is married and has three sons; two in college and one still in high school.