Ron is a highly decorated Fighter Pilot and Test Pilot, Explorer, Entrepreneur and Humanitarian who believes that appropriately designed and targeted social enterprises can solve many of the problems facing our world. Ron is a retired NASA astronaut who has traveled 71,075,867 miles in 2,842 orbits of our planet during more than 178 days in space and 27 hours and 3 minutes of EVA during four spacewalks. He flew on both the US Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Ron is also an aquanaut and participated in the joint NASA-NOAA, NEEMO-9 mission, an exploration research mission held in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research laboratory. During this mission he and the crew spent 18 continuous days living and working on the ocean floor. Ron's last U.S. government assignment was in NASA's Open Innovation Initiative, which seeks to increase openness, transparency, collaboration, and innovation within government.
In this capacity, Ron has been involved in many global mass collaboration and citizen science programs. Working in partnership with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Ron led an effort called Unity Node to develop a universal, open source, collaborative platform to enable humanitarian organizations around the world to work together toward their common goals. Outside his work with the US government, Ron is also a serial entrepreneur and has founded multiple business enterprises and social-impact focused startups including Manna Energy Ltd. which was created to leverage the $120B/year Carbon Market to finance humanitarian projects in developing countries. Manna Energy Ltd. is the first organization in the world to successfully register a United Nations Clean Development Mechanism carbon credit program for water treatment. Manna also developed, under contract with a partner organization the largest water treatment intervention conducted by a private organization; a four million person program operating in Kenya, completely funded by carbon credits and is currently working on a three million person program in Rwanda.
Ron represented Manna Energy Ltd. as one of ten global innovators in the field of water purification during the 2009 Launch-Water forum (sponsored by NASA, US State Dept., USAID, and Nike) and is a member of the Launch Council. Ron is presently the Chief Pilot of Tucson-based commercial space company: World View Enterprises and is the author of the highly acclaimed book, "The Orbital Perspective."
Kevin Schindler is a historian and writer who has called Flagstaff, AZ home since 1995. He has written more than 400 magazine and newspaper articles on a variety of subjects, particularly science, local history, and baseball. The author of three books, he also contributes a regular astronomy column to the Arizona Daily Sun.
Melissa L. Sevigny grew up in Tucson, AZ where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert. Her writing explores the intersections of science, policy, and history with a focus on the American Southwest. She has worked as a science communicator in the fields of water policy, sustainable agriculture, and planetary science, and a member of NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission team during its operations on Mars. She's the author of two nonfiction books, "Under Desert Skies" and "Mythical River," and won the 2015 Ellen Meloy Award for Desert Writers. She's currently the science reporter for KNAU (Arizona Public Radio) in Flagstaff, AZ.
Nancy Atkinson is the editor and writer for Universe Today, a popular space and astronomy news site. She is author of the book "Incredible Stories From Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos," an inside look at NASA's robotic space missions. Nancy has written thousands of articles, writing daily since 2004 about the latest news regarding space. She was the editor for Space Lifestyle Magazine and also had articles published on Wired.com, Space.com, NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine, Space Times Magazine, and in several newspapers in the Midwest. She has been involved with several space-related podcasts, including Astronomy Cast, 365 Days of Astronomy and was the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and she lives in Minnesota.
Kristin is a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Kristin works on spacecraft science operations, at the point where science and engineering meet. She is currently a Senior Targeting Specialist for the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, where she designs and commands observations of the surface, other spacecraft and landed assets, and the occasional passing comet. She’s proud to be part of the group that has won a NASA team award for its unprecedented images of Mars and new views into how the planet changes with time.
Kristin was a member of the Phoenix Mars Lander Optical Microscope team and has worked in laboratory-based astrobiology, researching the effects of lightning and meteorites on elements necessary for life. Planetary science is Kristin’s second career; before returning to grad school she performed and taught upright bass.
Donald Mcneil, Jr.
Donald G. McNeil Jr. is a science and health reporter for The New York Times, where he began work as a copy boy in 1976. He is a former Africa correspondent and has reported from fifty-five countries. He specializes in plagues and pestilences, covering including Zika, AIDS, Ebola, malaria, swine and bird flu, and mad cow disease. His new book "Zika: The Emerging Epidemic" was published by W. W. Norton in June 2016.
Peter Friederici is an award-winning environmental journalist who directs the Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities program at Northern Arizona University. He is the author of "A New Form of Beauty: Glen Canyon Beyond Climate Change." His other books include an essay collection, "The Suburban Wild," and "Nature's Restoration: People and Places on the Front Lines of Conservation." His articles and essays appear in Orion, High Country News, Inside Climate News, and many other publications. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he also gardens, hikes, and works on fixing up an old house.
Peter Goin is an American photographer best known for his work within the altered landscape, specifically his photographs published in the book Nuclear Landscapes. His work has been shown in over fifty museums nationally and internationally and he is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. Goin is currently a Foundation Professor of Art in Photography and Videography at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has also done extensive rephotography work in the Lake Tahoe region.
First off the presses is "A New Form of Beauty: Glen Canyon Beyond Climate Change" coauthored with Peter Friederici. (University of Arizona Press).
Peter Goin is not just a visual storyteller, but a writer, researcher, scholar, and photographer who spends extended time along the byways of rivers, lakes, and dry playas, from Hite to Page, Chaco and Mesa Verde to Black Rock, site of the Burning Man festival, and beyond.
Peter is the author of books exploring paradigms of place, including but not limited to "Tracing the Line: A Photographic Survey of the Mexican-American Border," "Nuclear Landscapes, Nevada Rock Art," and "Humanature." Peter and Lucy Lippard coauthored "Time and Time Again: History, Rephotography, and Preservation in the Chaco World" – a journey that delves into Ancestral Puebloan culture at Chaco Canyon and its outliers, and within Mesa Verde, time and time again.
Peter’s photographs have been exhibited in more than fifty museums nationally and internationally, and he is the recipient of multiple awards from the National Endowment for the Arts to Nevada Governor’s Millennium Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Joel is a science writer emeritus at Stanford University and has taught science journalism at Stanford, the University of California Santa Cruz, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he was the Snedden Chair. Joel founded the science writing internship program at Stanford. He was the science writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer and was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Three Mile Island. Joel was also chief of the space bureau for Reuters, covering all the Apollo missions while a national correspondent for them based in New York. He also was a correspondent for United Press International in Israel in 1967 and the Dominican Republic in 1965, and UPI bureau chief in Baltimore and Cleveland. Joel is the author of nine books on science and the history of science. "True Genius" is his third biography, including "Terman’s Kids" (the biography of Lewis Terman, inventor of the IQ test) and "Broken Genius," the biography of William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor.
Dava Sobel, a former New York Times science reporter, is the author of several books, including "The Glass Universe" and the New York Times best-sellers "Longitude" and "Galileo’s Daughter." In her forty years as a science journalist, she has written for many magazines and has taught science writing.
Julian Guthrie is a journalist and author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent twenty years at the San Francisco Chronicle, where she won numerous awards, including the Best of the West Award and the Society of Professional Journalists' Public Service Award. Her feature writing and enterprise reporting were nominated multiple times for the Pulitzer Prize.
Her articles have also been published by The Wall Street Journal, Salon.com, San Francisco Magazine, Forbes FYI, The Huffington Post, and Conde Nast Traveler. "The Grace of Everyday Saints: How a Band of Believers Lost Their Church and Found Their Faith," was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and was an O magazine pick for a top nonfiction book in fall 2011.
Ms. Guthrie's book "The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing's Greatest Race, The America's Cup" was published in 2013 by Grove/Atlantic and was a national best-seller. It was one of Forbes Magazine's top ten nonfiction books of 2013. An expanded paperback edition of the book - detailing Oracle Racing's epic comeback against Team New Zealand - was published in 2014.
Her new book, "How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight," released by Penguin/Random House in September 2016, tells the story of a cast of characters who dreamed of getting to space without the government's help. This cast includes aviators, test pilots, engineering school dropouts, NASA retirees, billionaires, and a particularly determined space geek who refused to give up on his outsized dream.
Nathalia Holt, Ph.D., is a science writer and the New York Times best-selling author of "Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us from Missiles to the Moon to Mars" and "Cured: The People who Defeated HIV." Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Time. She has trained at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, Harvard University, the University of Southern California, and Tulane University. She lives with her husband and their two daughters in Boston, Massachusetts.
David Biello is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting on the environment and energy since 1999. "The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth's Newest Age," is his first book. He is currently the science curator for TED Talks and a contributing editor at Scientific American. He also writes frequently for Aeon, Nautilus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Yale e360. Biello has been a guest on many radio and television shows, including PRI's Science Friday and PBS NewsHour. His documentary series Beyond the Light Switch won the duPont-Columbia award and he most recently reported, wrote, and hosted The Ethanol Effect for PBS.
Andrea Peacock is a former editor of the Missoula Independent, and author of "Wasting Libby: The True Story of How the WR Grace Corporation Left a Montana Town to Die (and Got Away With It)" and the co-author (with her husband Doug Peacock) of "The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears." She received an Alicia Patterson Fellowship for her work on oil and gas development on sacred lands in the West. She is the co-owner of Elk River Books in Livingston, Montana.
Doug Peacock is the author of "Grizzly Years," "¡Baja!", "Walking It Off: A Veteran’s Chronicle of War and Wilderness," and co-author (with his wife Andrea Peacock) of "The Essential Grizzly: The Mingled Fates of Men and Bears." A Vietnam veteran and former Green Beret medic, Doug has published widely on wilderness issues. He was a friend of the late author Edward Abbey, and the model for Abbey’s infamous character, George Washington Hayduke. Doug received Guggenheim and Lannan fellowships for his work on his latest book, "In the Shadow of the Sabertooth: Global Warming, the Origins of the First Americans and the Terrible Beasts of the Pleistocene."