Meet the Team
The GAVRT project is a partnership between NASA/JPL and the Lewis Center for Educational Research which strives to inspire and educate students through their active contribution to professional science.
Students, educators, and scientists learn together doing radio astronomy.
By joining the GAVRT radio astronomy team, you and your students will:
- Work together with students and professional scientists from around the world to uncover new knowledge about the universe.
- Join a partnership with NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and the Lewis Center for Educational Research (LCER).
- Join a science team open to all.
- Remotely control a 34-meter radio telescope belonging to NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) from your school site.
- Access existing and future curricula developed in alignment with A Framework for K-12 Science and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
- Receive support from LCER and JPL every step of the way - from the initial training through making sense of your collected data.
- Learn to think like a scientist.
- Contribute to the scientific body of knowledge.
Lisa Lamb is the President/CEO of the Lewis Center for Educational Research. Prior to this position, she served as the Chief Academic Officer. Her tenure at the Lewis Center began in July 2008. During this time, she has served in the roles of AAE teacher, AAE Middle School Vice Principal and AAE K-12 Principal. Lisa began her career in Barstow Unified School District as a teacher, and then administrator, working with a largely underserved student population. In 2005, she was honored as the Walmart Teacher of the Year and also the Teacher of the Year for Barstow Junior High School. Currently, she is a member of the California Charter School Association (CCSA), CCSA Capitol Advocacy Liaison, CA HELP Governance Council, Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce, and High Desert Church. Lisa hold Master’s Degrees in Educational Administration and Curriculum and Instruction.
Dr. Steve Levin, GAVRT Lead Scientist, JPL
Dr. Steven Levin is the Project Scientist for Juno (a spacecraft which arrived at Jupiter in July, 2016) and the lead scientist for the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope project. He has been at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for over 25 years, working on topics such as the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation, modeling radio emission from the Jovian radiation belts, and measurements of magnetic fields in cold molecular clouds to improve our understanding of star formation. He is also passionate about education, frequently giving science talks to students and the public, and is currently president of the Board of Education in Culver City, California.
Laurance Fauconnet, Public Outreach Specialist, JPL
Laurance is a Public Outreach Specialist at JPL. He has a background in communications, public relations, and community engagement. Before joining the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Laurance served as an Account Director at the National Communications firm BerlinRosen where he lead communication and public relation campaigns. Before joining BerlinRosen, he was the Communications Manager at the Municipal Art Society of New York, a New York City based non-profit focused on encouraging citizens to be more active participants in their community.
Laurance has a Bachelor of Arts in Polical Science and Public Policy from Georgia State University and recieved his masters from University College, London.
Ryan Dorcey, Director of Information Technology, Lewis Center
Ryan has worked at the Lewis Center for Educational Research since 2002. Throughout his tenure, he has held various roles including Systems Programmer and Manager of Global Operations. He is currently serving as the Director of Information Technology and Global Programs. In his role, he is responsible for all educational technology initiatives at the Academy for Academic Excellence and Norton Science and Language Academy, as well as the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT) partnership with the LCER and JPL/NASA. He actively supports NASA/JPL missions such as Juno and GAVRT campaigns including: Black Hole Patrol, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), Jupiter Quest and Solar Patrol.
Nancy Kreuser-Jenkins, GAVRT Lead Operator, Lewis Center
Nancy has worked in the STEM field since 1980. Prior to coming to becoming a GAVRT Operator at the Lewis Center in August 2007, she worked at TRW as Sub Project Manager. Through GAVRT, she has been involved with various campaigns such as: Spitzer, LCROSS, Uranus, and the Quasar Variability Study. She is currently working on Black Hole Patrol, Jupiter/JUNO and SETI. Nancy, along with the GAVRT team, has trained over 100 teachers and thousands of students across the globe. This school year alone, she has worked with 29 schools in 17 different states and 2 foreign countries – Australia and Chile. She has helped over 4,500 students do “real” science utilizing a 34-meter radio telescope from their classrooms.
Debbie Gaidzik, GAVRT Trainer and Science Teacher, Lewis Center
Debbie has been a secondary science instructor at the Lewis Center since January 2004. After receiving her GAVRT training that same year, she began teaching radio astronomy to her Physical Science classes, as well as teaching the Space Science class at the Academy for Academic Excellence. She has participated in numerous missions including: Mars Exploration Rover Project, the LCROSS moon mission, SETI mission analysis, and the current Juno mission. Her mission participation includes: proposal development, curriculum development and assessment, as well as integration and radio telescope operation with her students. In addition, she has worked with educators across the globe as a GAVRT Trainer since 2008.
John Leflang, Software Programmer and Patron Saint of GAVRT
Dr. David Jauncey, Radio Astronomer