Primary Institution:Space Science Institute
Current SEPA Project
Paul received his B.A. in Physics from Whitman College in 1972 and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1978 from the University of New Hampshire specializing in space plasma physics. He was a Research Associate at the University of Colorado, Boulder from 1982–1990. In September of 1989, he became the Program Director of the Magnetospheric Physics Program at the National Science Foundation.
In October 1992, he was appointed Executive Director of the Space Science Institute (SSI), a nonprofit research and education organization, located in Boulder, Colorado.
From 1995–2004, he led the development of a successful workshop series for scientists and engineers to learn how to implement effective formal and informal STEM education programs. He was the project director and led the development of major national traveling exhibitions: Electric Space, Space Weather Center, MarsQuest, Destination Mars, Alien Earths, Giant Worlds, and recently Great Balls of Fire: Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors. He also has led and participated in numerous professional development workshops for classroom teachers, science museum educators, and library staff.
In 2010, SSI’s Board of Directors appointed him Director of the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL). In June 2014, he stepped down as SSI’s Executive Director to devote full time to directing NCIL.
Currently, he directs the national library education program called the STAR Library Network (STAR Net), in partnership with the American Library Association and many library and STEM education organizations. The STAR Net program includes traveling STEM exhibitions, activities and training for librarians, an outreach program in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance, a community of practice for librarians and STEM professionals, and evaluation and research.
Several projects are part of STAR Net: Discover NASA, NASA@ My Library, and Project BUILD. STAR Net is supported by a number of sources: NSF, NASA, NIH, and IMLS. He was also the PI and project director for the first Public Libraries & STEM Conference in Denver, Colorado in August, 2015. This NSF-funded conference brought together 160 leaders from both the public library and STEM education communities to help define a new 21st century vision of STEM learning in public libraries.
Associated SEPA Project(s)
Discover Health/Descubre la Salud: A Colorado Community Engagement Project
R25GM129203 : 05/06/2014 - 04/30/2019