Dr. Sten Odenwald is an astronomer and author. Dr. Odenwald earned his Bachelors in Astronomy from U.C. Berkeley. He continued his education in Astronomy at Harvard University where he earned his Masters as well as Ph.D. in 1982. Dr. Odenwald long had a dream of earning a tenured position in astronomy at a college or university. He applied to more than 50 institutions and often found that he was one of 700 or more applicants. Instead of universities, he found employment in the greater Washington D.C. area at Space Sciences Division of the Naval Research Laboratory (1982-1990), BDM International (1991-1992), the Applied Research Corporation (1993-1996), and most recently Raytheon (1996-2000+). Then served as an Education and Public Outreach Manager for the IMAGE satellite project. The IMAGE website provides educational material for students and teachers. In collaboration with other IMAGE scientists, Odenwald works to understand why the magnetosphere is important and how the information we gain from the IMAGE satellite will help scientists understand how the sun affects our environment in space. In 1999, he earned the NASA ‘Excellence in Outreach’ award from the Goddard Space Flight Center. Today Dr. Odenwald is the director of STEM Education at the National Institute of Aerospace.
Throughout his years of employment, he has served as a teaching fellow, instructor, and lecturer. He has taught and lectured at Harvard University, Tufts University, Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, and American Astronomical Society.
Dr. Odenwald is involved in developing new NASA resources in solar-terrestrial science education for the NASA Office of Space Science ‘Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum’ where they research solar storms. He assists NASA at national conventions and workshops across the country as they work with teachers.
Dr. Odenwald has written for magazines like Astronomy and Sky and Telescope. He is the author of many books including The Astronomy Café, The 23rd Cycle: Learning to live with a stormy star, and The Accidental Vacuum. His wrote the article, Clustering of the Diffuse Infrared Light from the COBE DIRBE Maps’ was published in Astrophysical Journal. He created the award-winning website, The Astronomy Café, with the goal of creating a place for individuals to learn about careers in astronomy. The website includes a 3,001 question FAW archive on all things space and astronomy.
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