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William Dean Pesnell


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Ph.D., Physics, 1983, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
B.S., Physics, 1978, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

Professional Experience

NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
Astrophysicist and Project Scientist Feburary 2005-present

Nomad Research, Inc., Bowie, MD
President December 1995–February 2005

Applied Research Corporation, Landover, MD
Project Manager and Associate Scientist March 1993–November 1995
Associate Scientist January 1990–March 1993

Group T-6, Los Alamos National Laboratory , Los Alamos, NM
Consultant September 1983–August 1997
Graduate Research Assistant Summers of 1980, 1981, and 1982

Department of Astrophysical, Planetary, and Atmospheric Sciences,
University of Colorado , Boulder, CO
Lecturer August 1989–December 1989

Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University , Las Cruces, NM
Visiting Assistant Professor August 1987–May 1989

Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics , University of Colorado,
and National Bureau of Standards, Boulder, CO
Post-Doctoral Research Associate August 1983–August 1987

Physics Department, University of Florida , Gainesville, FL
Teaching Assistant September 1980–June 1983
Graduate Research Assistant June 1979–June 1980
Teaching Assistant September 1978–June 1979

Department of Physics, University of Delaware , Newark, DE
Teaching Assistant September 1977–June 1978
Research Assistant June 1977–September 1978


American Geophysical Union American Astronomical Society Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Professional Specializations

Atmospheric oscillations
Hydrodynamics of real gases, nonlinear effects
Computational physics, numerical analysis, Fourier analysis of data
Quantum mechanics, collision cross sections, equation of state, and opacity
Radial and nonradial stellar pulsations
Stellar structure

Flight Projects

Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), launched February 11, 2010
Thermospheric, Ionospheric, Mesospheric, Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED), launched December 2001
Balloon Flight of the Solar Disk Sextant, Fort Sumner, NM, September 1995
Sounding Rocket Flight of the Solar Extreme Ultraviolet Photometer, Poker Flat, AK, January 1994

Professional Activities

Invited Participant

A Half Century of Stellar Pulsation Interpretations (Banquet Remarks), Los Alamos, NM, June 1997
CEDAR Workshop, Boulder, CO, June 1992 through 2005
IAU Colloquium No. 143, “The Sun as a Variable Star,” Boulder, CO, June 1993
AAS Astronomer in the Classroom, May 1992 and 1993
Vacuum Ultraviolet Calibration Workshop, Boulder, CO, March 1993
DE Science Team Meeting, Greenbelt, MD, March 1992 & October 1992
Noniostropic & Variable Outflows from Stars, Baltimore, MD, October 1992
DE Science Team Meeting, Greenbelt, MD, March & October 1991
DE Science Team Meeting, Greenbelt, MD, October 1990
NRAO/ARC New Mexico Symposium, Socorro, NM, November 1987 and 1988
IAU Colloquium No. 111, Lincoln, NE, August 1988
95th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Astron. Soc. of the Pacific, Boulder, CO, July 1986
Symposium on Cosmogonical Processes, Boulder, CO, March 1985
25th Liege International Astrophysical Colloquium, Liege, Belgium, July 1984
Pulsations in Classical and Cataclysmic Variable Stars, Boulder, CO, June 1982
Workshop on Stellar Pulsations, Los Alamos, NM, July 1981
IAU Colloquium No. 58, Los Alamos, NM, August 1980

Abbreviated List of Colloquia and Seminars (from a total of 65)

Code 670, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, May 2007
Physics Colloquium, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, April 2007
Engineering Colloquium, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, March 2007
Riderwood Village, Silver Spring, MD, September 2006
Astronomy Club, Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, MD, October 2005
Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC, October, 1997
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, April, 1997
Howard University, Washington, DC, October, 1996
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, October, 1996
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, September 1995
Arecibo Observatory, Cornell University, Arecibo, PR, April 1995
Haystack Observatory, MIT, Westford, MA, January 1994
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA, October 1993
Atholton High School, Columbia, MD, May 1993
National Solar Observatory, Sunspot, NM, October 1992
Lowell Observatory and Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ, September 1992
Oakland Mills High School, Columbia, MD, May 1992
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, March 1992
University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, March 1991
Bartol Research Found. and Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE, November 1990
University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX, October 1988
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, April 1988
Las Cruces Astronomical Society, Las Cruces, NM, February 1988

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