Shari Lifson is the Corporate Communications Coordinator for the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). She is responsible for working with AURA’s three centers: Space Telescope Science Institute, NSF’s NOIRLab, and the National Solar Observatory to develop cross-center communication efforts and strategies. Prior to joining AURA, Lifson worked as a Communication Officer for the Center for Climate Systems Research at the Earth Institute/Columbia University. Shari Lifson holds a master’s degree from Columbia in Sustainability Management and a master’s in Visual Communication from the Pratt Institute. She is based at the AURA corporate office in Baltimore, Maryland.
Dr. Shannon Schmoll
Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht
Dr. Jesica Trucks
Ryan Wyatt wrote and directed the Big Astronomy planetarium show. He has served as Senior Director of Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization at the California Academy of Sciences since April 2007. Prior to arriving in San Francisco, Wyatt worked for six years as Science Visualizer at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City; previously, he opened technologically-advanced planetariums in Phoenix, Arizona, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Wyatt has written and directed the Academy’s seven award-winning fulldome shows on topics as diverse as asteroids, earthquakes, ecosystems, and coral reefs. Wyatt’s professional interests include making research data sets accessible to the general public and developing standards and best practices in the fulldome video community. He writes extensively on the design of immersive media and the role of modern planetariums in bringing cutting edge science to a variety of audiences, and his Visualizing Science blog provides an informal look at his ideas and opinions related to visual representations of science. He is also the cofounder of the professional organization Immersive Media Entertainment, Research, Science, and Art (IMERSA) and co-chaired the 2017 and 2019. Wyatt also indulges avid enthusiasms for cultural astronomy, the history of science, and intersections between art and science.
Storksdieck has also previously served as director of project development and senior researcher at the non-profit Institute for Learning Innovation. In the 1990s he was a science educator with a planetarium in Germany, where he developed shows and programs on global climate change; served as editor, host, and producer for a weekly environmental news broadcast; and worked as an environmental consultant specializing in local environmental management systems. He holds an M.S. in biology from the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany; an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; and a Ph.D. in education from Leuphana University in Lüneburg, Germany. Storksdieck also directs NRC’s Roundtable on Climate Change Education.