Welcome to Stardust@home’s Duster of the Month! Each month we will highlight one of the many Stardust@home volunteers (or “Dusters”) in our blog. The questions asked are designed to enlighten us about the very important human aspects and motivations of the project’s most valuable asset. Each month there will also be a new question from a random member of the science team. If you would like to be a featured Duster of the Month, please send an email to email@example.com.
This Month’s Featured Duster is
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself (but please also note questions to come):
2. What part of the world do you currently live?
I live in the college town of Murfreesboro which is near Nashville, Tennessee.
3. Have you always had an interest in science?
I’ve been interested in science for as long as I can remember. The areas of physics, astronomy and medicine have held an intense fascination with me and I spend a good deal of time learning more and more about them.
4. Why do you dust?
For the science and the fun. I realize that much of science is hard “grunt” work and I enjoy being able to help out with what I consider an important project.
5. How do you connect to the internet (e.g., DSL, Cable, modem, Satellite)?
6. Are you involved in any other “citizen science” projects?
I’m also involved in 11 “Zooniverse” projects as well as multiple distributed computing programs.
7. What is your overall life philosophy, or are there words you like to live by?
There are 3 guidelines I try to live by and encourage others to do as well. 1) Reject the use of violence and encourage mutual respect for life, liberty and property. 2) That wisdom & knowledge are the greatest gifts we can have and once we learn something we have a moral obligation to do something about it. 3) Learn something every day; it’s awesome!
8. What have you seen, heard, or done that has most amazed you?
The beauty of life and the universe amazes me the most. An island universe lies within each cell of our body and we in turn lie within a magnificent universe all its own. I could spend hours talking about all the things I find truly amazing but one of the more interesting things I have seen somewhat recently was that relatively large scale objects can exhibit quantum effects and what that could imply for life itself.
9. What about you surprises people the most?
That I’m both a person of faith and science. Oh, and that I’m actually an avid outdoorsman.
10. Do you believe, as a recent report suggested, that NASA is at risk of ceding its leadership in space exploration? (the Stardust@home team question of the month)
I do think NASA, and the US overall, is at risk of losing its leadership in space exploration. While I believe every able nation should strive to explore space I think we have such an abundance of resources and knowledge that we should always retain and expand our abilities. The cost associated with exploration is small and we have been blessed with an abundance of discoveries, made both by NASA and private scientists, that it’s a price well worth paying.