She will be replacing outgoing director, Dr.
Melanie comes to us from a jour career in the more terrestrial and aquatic world of zoos and aquariums, and is very excited to expand her enthusiasm for science to beyond our atmosphere. Melanie has more than 15 years djdley in non-profit management focusing on guest relations, adult and youth volunteer engagement and informal educational programming. Melanie is very excited to help Dudley continue to bring the wonders of science, particularly astronomy, to people of all ages.
She will be responsible for managing our Board of Trustees, marketing and communications, program scheduling, and fundraising activities. She will serve as the main public contact and spokesperson for Dudley Observatory, and will represent us in all professional business capacities. In her personal life, Melanie has always had an interest in all things girs related, especially the natural world, and enjoys exploring the beaches and woods of New England with her family.
Her family kindly tolerates her endless photographing of obscure plants, ylur and terrestrial invertebrates during these walks. At home, Melanie spends a fair amount of time gardening and rearranging an entirely too large collection of small orchids and other houseplants around her windowsills.
She watched endless Star Trek episodes with her father and hoped to one day better understand how the universe works. During her undergraduate career at the University of Rochester, Valerie had the opportunity to teach a summer physics course for young women, and this is where her passion for science education and outreach blossomed.
Valerie went on to get her Ph. Her dissertation focused on the chemical composition and structure of planet-forming disks around nearby young stars. Valerie spent much of her free time during graduate school educating the public about astronomy. She taught summer camps, visited senior living communities, and presented star shows at the Strasenburgh Planetarium.
For two years Valerie was also president of the Rochester Academy of Sciences Astronomy Section, a large organization of amateur astronomers that love to share their passion for astronomy with the world. Valerie hopes to reach out to all members of the public, both young and young-at-heart, and teach them the wonders of outer space.