Hello, ORION! I’m Dave McCallister.
During the March 3rd ORION Board meeting, I was elected as the president of ORION for 2018. I want to thank ORION founder, longtime president, and current VP Dr. David Fields for his encouragement and support during this transition.
I have been to many ORION events over the last three years, including giving the January 2018 program and have met many members throughout the Knoxville astronomy scene, but I’m sure there are many members of ORION that I have not had the pleasure of meeting. So I thought I’d introduce myself here.
All of us that enjoy this hobby had a moment or event that inspired our pursuit of astronomy. My grandfather had a modest refractor though which I distinctly remember viewing a slim, crescent Venus in a twilight West Virginia sky when I was around 6 or 7. I became interested in science and read as much as I could get my hands on.
Before moving to Knoxville to pursue as master’s in astrophysics, I was a high school physics teacher in Cincinnati, and spent about 10 years volunteering at the Cincinnati Observatory, the western hemisphere’s first public observatory.
While in Knoxville, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Paul Lewis at UT with Space Science Outreach, including the rooftop observing deck and the digital planetarium.
I look forward to help guiding the club over the next year. Please say hello the next time you are at an ORION event!