AAVSO Board Officers and Members - John Blackwell

John Blackwell

(Board member 2022-2024)

Professional title at time of election: Director of Grainger Observatory and Instructor in Science, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, NH, USA

I am an astronomy/physics/epistemology instructor at Phillips Exeter Academy (NH) and their observatory director. Before my life as an educator, I was a software engineer and team manager. I have been observing variable stars since my college days over 30 years ago and been submitting observations to the AAVSO for that same length of time. Now, I am mostly involved with CCD photometry of cataclysmic variables, solar observing, and geomagnetic studies. For this same length of time, I have been actively involved in astronomy education and outreach working with local planetariums, astronomy clubs, and associations to promote the activity and science in every way possible. My focus has been aimed at high school students, some of whom might never take another science course again, as they matriculate and go into non-science majors. For those who continue into the sciences, I am thrilled! I am an active member of AAS, ASP, and RAS, attending meetings and publishing my work.

My interests in being an AAVSO board member are many. All of the mentoring and assistance I have received from AAVSO over the years helped me become the person I am today: really! I wish to give back now and help propel the organization forward. I wish to focus on education and outreach, but also in all aspects of the organization: community, financials, science, pro-am collaborations, instrumentation, you name it. With over 15 years of management experience in software and education, I have skills in financial management, growth and the smooth running of large organizations. As the AAVSO moves further into the 21st century, I look forward to the challenges that it faces.