Here are the courses I teach at Michigan State, along with some of the outreach projects I developed at MSU and as lead outreach scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Mark’s Teaching

This introductory astronomy course for non-majors spans the universe in a single semester.  Our main goals are to build perspective on how human life is related to what’s been happening in the universe during the past 14 billion years and to understand how scientific thinking reveals how the physical world operates.  It’s part of the Integrative Studies Program in General Sciences.  (Last taught: Fall 2011)

ISP 205: Visions of the Universe

Our astronomy lab course at Michigan State is separate from the lSP 205 lecture course.  In the lab course we do hands-on investigations designed to illustrate how science works.  Because the course meets in the Abrams Planetarium, students also get the opportunity to learn the major constellations of the night sky. It’s also part of the Integrative Studies Program in General Sciences.  (Last taught: Fall 2012)

ISP 205L: Visions of the Universe Lab

Astrophysical research depends critically on our understanding of how light and matter interact.  This is an introduction to those radiative processes for graduate students who are interested in earning a Ph.D. in astrophysics.  The course concentrates on applications of undergraduate physics to astrophysical scenarios, and it’s required in MSU’s graduate astrophysics program. (Last taught: Fall 2011)

AST 810: Radiative Astrophysics

Courses at Michigan State

The online home of the Hubble Space Telescope for the general public is HubbleSite, produced and hosted by the Space Telescope Science Institute.  I was the Project Scientist for this award-winning site during its first few years, and the team has done a great job with it since then.  It has your favorite Hubble pictures, multimedia presentations about Hubble’s discoveries, and lots of info on the spacecraft itself.

This major traveling exhibition was jointly produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service.  I was the Project Scientist. Two versions toured the country from 2000-04.  The large version now has a permanent home at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and the smaller version is still on tour. HubbleSite has an online version of the exhibition.

Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universehttp://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/exhibits/hubble.html

The LADDERS program of the MSU Museum offers a suite of virtual field trips for middle-school science classes using videoconferencing equipment.  We helped to develop the program’s Invisible Universe module, which teaches students about the basic properties of light as they study how astronomical objects look different when they are observed in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.

LADDERS: Invisible Universe

Outreach Projects