Speakers & Presenters

Keynote Performers: Galileo's Daughters

GALILEO’S DAUGHTERS was founded by soprano Sarah Pillow in 2001 to present a different kind of early music recital that combines music, spoken word and the visual arts to create thought-provoking and intriguing programs. Praised for her “gorgeous” singing (Sunday London Times), Sarah and Mary Anne Ballard, viola da gamba, along with special guests, present performances that clarify the vibrant relationship between science, the arts, human thought and faith. Their program, “Perpetual Motion: Galileo and His Revolutions” describes the remarkable moment in history of science, human thought and music, with narration by acclaimed science writer Dava Sobel.

Past performances include: The University of Hawaii, Honolulu; The Cloisters, NYC; The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, CA; Vassar College; Smith College; Hamilton College; University of Michigan Ann Arbor; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Early Music Society of the Islands, Victoria, B.C.; and The Flint Institute of Art.

Biology of Light Lecture: Dr. Joseph Bass

Dr. Joseph Bass, MD PhD is a Charles F. Kettering Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine of Feinberg School of Medicine and the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine at Northwestern University. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and completed training in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Chicago, where he was the recipient of fellowships from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Bass remains active as both a clinical endocrinologist and as an NIH-funded investigator.

J. Kelly Beatty

Kelly Beatty has been explaining the science and wonder of astronomy to the public since 1974. An award-winning writer and communicator, he specializes in planetary science and space exploration as senior editor for Sky & Telescope magazine. Beatty enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy with a wide spectrum of audiences, from children to professional astronomers, and you’ll occasionally hear his interviews and guest commentaries on National Public Radio and The Weather Channel. He also serves on the board of directors for the International Dark-Sky Association.

Wally Funk

Pioneering female pilot and astronaut candidate, Wally Funk, was one of the Mercury 13. Funk was the first female air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, the first civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and the first Federal Aviation Agency inspector. After the Mercury 13 program was canceled, she became a goodwill ambassador, flying over 80,000 miles throughout the world. She was the first woman to finish the FAA General Aviation Operations Inspector Academy. She has over 19,000 flight hours and has taught more than 3,000 students how to fly. In 2012, keeping her dream of space travel alive, she put money down to be one of the first people to fly into space via Virgin Galactic.

Astronaut Rick Hauck

Captain Rick Hauck is a retired Navy combat pilot, astronaut, and commercial space business executive. He flew over 100 combat missions in Vietnam, and co-piloted one space shuttle flight and commanded two others, the latest of which was the first flight after the Challenger tragedy. Among his awards are two Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Fédération Aéronautique International Yuri Gagarin Gold Medal. He was honored with a Doctor of Public Service degree by his alma mater in 2007.

Dr. Scott J. Kenyon

Dr. Scott J. Kenyon uses observations and numerical simulations to study the formation of stars and planetary systems. He was among the first to show that young stars with ages of only one million years accrete material from surrounding disks of gas and dust. These disks typically contain enough material for a planetary system. Today, he develops numerical simulations for the formation of planetary systems. His calculations were the first to demonstrate that debris disks around the nearby stars Vega and β Pictoris are newly-formed planetary systems containing planets at least as large as Pluto and Mars.


Shawn Laatsch

Shawn Laatsch is the director of the Emera Astronomy Center and Jordan Planetarium. He has over 25 years of experience in planetariums, having directed facilities in Hawaii, Kentucky, and Maryland as well as managing the construction and installation of a number of facilities in the U.S. and abroad. He is responsible for all operations and management of the Emera Astronomy Center. Laatsch also serves as president of the International Planetarium Society, Inc. the world’s largest organization of planetarium professionals and is a NASA Solar System Ambassador.

Astronomy Volunteers in the Park

Integral members of Acadia National Park’s education team, these amateur astronomers volunteer their time to share their vast knowledge of astronomy. This year’s team of Astro VIP’s includes Jan Hoey, Richard Luecke, Bob Reichman, and Jon Thomas.

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