Dr. Mike Reynolds

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Dr. Mike Reynolds giving a presentation at the Miami Science Museum during Astronomy Day

Michael (Mike) D. Reynolds, PH.D. is an author, and Dean and Adjunct Astronomy Professor at Florida State College. He was selected and trained by NASA as an astronaut for the Teachers in Space Program, and he is Executive Director Emeritus of Chabot Space & Science Center.

Dr. Reynolds leads eclipse expeditions, is a recognized expert on meteoritics, and has created and managed many major astronomical events and exhibits. Dr. Reynolds has given and received many awards and recognitions in astronomy and space science, in addition, Mike is the Chair of the AstronomyOutreach network Awards Committee.



Thirty years in astronomy and earth sciences, chemistry, physics, science history and education, and administration in the gamut of: high school and university instructor, planetarium and museum director, researcher, writer, and lecturer.

Demonstrated ability encompassing a broad spectrum of skills including teaching, research, writing, course design and implementation, facility design and implementation, grant writing and fundraising, and leadership.

Years of successful experience in establishing and maintaining rapport with students, teachers, administrators, board members, and community leaders. Speaker and lecturer with experience in astronomy, physics and the earth sciences, museums and science centers, and science education and science history throughout the United States, Asia, Europe, Africa, and South America. Consultant on numerous projects for science education, program, lab, planetarium, observatory, exhibit, and overall museum / science center design.


1990 Doctor of Philosophy, Science Education and Astronomy – University of Florida, Gainesville

  • Dissertation: Two–Dimensional versus Three–Dimensional Conceptualization in Astronomy
  • Additional Research: Special Film Chemistry for Astronomical applications
  • 1982 Masters of Education, Science Education – University of North Florida, Jacksonville
  • 1980 Bachelor of Arts, Natural Sciences – Edison State College, Trenton, New Jersey

Professional Experience

2004- Adjunct Astronomy Instructor– Florida State College at Jacksonville, Teaches freshman Astronomy course and lab sections.

2003– Principal – Out of This World Consultation  Program and education elements design, review, and implementation in astronomy, space sciences, and general sciences.  As firm Principal, oversees appraisals, evaluations, and consultations in the field of space program artifacts, telescopes, meteorites, and other museum–quality artifacts and materials.

2003– Executive Director Emeritus– Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, California  Honored by the Chabot Space & Science Center Board of Directors upon retirement as Foundation President.

2002–2003 Foundation President – Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, California  Created and overviewed new program and exhibit conceptualization and development as well as relevant grant and general development fundraising efforts. Major projects included development of a New Small Autonomous School science magnet plan for the Science Center and Principal Investigator for Dragon Skies—Astronomy of Ancient China research, program and exhibition.

1991–2002 Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer – Chabot Space & Science Center, Oakland, California  Directed the development of new programs, exhibits, and facility design for a new 86,000 square foot physical plant, which opened in August 2000. Also lead development efforts for funding the new facility, as well as grants for programs and exhibits, staffing the new Science Center, and overall start–up initiatives. New exhibits included the geology and cratering dynamics of meteorites, the history of California astronomy, and modeling of solar system dynamics.

1990–1991 Adjunct Instructor – Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida  Taught freshman astronomy course and lab at the Alexander Brest Planetarium, Museum of Science and History.

1988–1991 Planetarium Director – Museum of Science and History, Jacksonville, Florida  Presided over the opening of a new, 60–foot diameter Alexander Brest Planetarium, astronomy exhibition space, and large dome space theater. Designed new planetarium programs, outreach and lecture series, teacher workshops, and a telescope makers’ workshop.

1986–1988 Christa McAuliffe Ambassador for Education – Florida Department of Education and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Tallahassee, Florida  As a National Aeronautics and Space Administration Teacher–in–Space National finalist, lectured to school groups, civic organizations, and special interest groups following the Challenger STS–51L accident in 1986. Lecture topics included training for spaceflight; the importance of continued manned space exploration, and general science and astronomy.

1981–1986 Science Instructor and Department Head – Duncan U. Fletcher Senior High School, Neptune Beach, Florida  Taught Chemistry I Honors, Physics I Honors, and Advanced Placement Physics (AP Physics C); Biology and Earth Sciences in Summer Sessions. Fully developed Physics program at Fletcher High School; one (1) course with one section only (Physics I Honors) was being taught when first employed in 1981; two full time physics teachers with three different physics offerings when departed in 1986.

1981–1991 Adjunct Professor – University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida  Developed and taught astronomy courses at the freshman and junior levels.

Awards and Recognition

  • Inductee, AstronomyOutreach Hall of Fame 2009
  • Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society; elected 2004
  • G. Bruce Blair Medal, Western Amateur Astronomers; 2002
  • Professional Astronomer Award, Astronomical Association of Northern California; 2001
  • Outstanding Alumni, Edison State College; 1995
  • Distinguished Alumni, University of North Florida; 1990
  • Distinguished Alumni, Florida Community College at Jacksonville; 1985
  • Florida State Teacher of the Year, State of Florida Department of Education; 1985
  • Teacher–in–Space National Finalist, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; 1985
  • Outstanding Young Floridian, Florida Jaycees; 1985
  • Florida State Chemistry Teacher of the Year; American Chemistry Society; 1984

Major Grant Awards

  • Air Force Office of Scientific Research—Astronomy–Oriented Science Center
  • Amount: $17,500,000
  • Dates: September 15, 1994 – May 15, 2000
  • Principal Investigator: Michael D. Reynolds
  • Peer–juried award for the new Chabot Space & Science Center capital expenses

National Science Foundation

  • Dragon Skies: Astronomical Instruments of Imperial China
  • Award Number: 0229812
  • Amount: $2,651,000
  • Award Dates: April 15, 2003 – October 31, 2007
  • Principal Investigator/Co–PI: Michael D. Reynolds
  • Dragon Skies: Astronomical Instruments of Imperial China – A Planning Grant for a Traveling Exhibit
  • Award Number: 0129834
  • Amount: $49,967
  • Dates: September 15, 2001 – October 31, 2002
  • Principal Investigator: Michael D. Reynolds
  • Galaxy Explorers: An Intensive After School Science Enrichment and Internship Program for Bay Area Youth
  • Award Number: 0104736
  • Amount: $285,686
  • Dates: September 1, 2001 – August 31, 2004
  • Principal Investigator: Michael D. Reynolds
  • Co–Principal Investigator: Eileen Engel
  • Bringing the Universe Down to Earth: De–Mystifying the Forces that Shape the Solar System
  • Award Number: 9725551
  • Amount: $1,251,082
  • Dates: September 15, 1998 – December 31, 2002
  • Principal Investigator: Michael D. Reynolds
  • Co–Principal Investigators: Ned Kahn, Margaret Hauben and Jose Olivarez
  • Leadership Institute Planning Grant
  • Award Number: 9353384
  • Amount: $49,158
  • Dates: September 15, 1993 – February 28, 1995
  • Principal Investigator: Michael D. Reynolds
  • Co–Principal Investigators: Beth Napier and Margaret Hauben

Research Projects

  • 2004 Antarctic Meteorite Recovery program; ongoing
  • 2003 Astronomy Outreach national program development; ongoing
  • 2001 Ancient Chinese Astronomy and Science (planning and full grants funded by the National Science Foundation; 2001 and 2003); implemented
  • 2001 International Space Station Telescope Project Committee; project to place a 0.5-meter telescope on the International Space Station; canceled due to the Columbia Space Shuttle accident
  • 2001 Underserved East Bay youth after school and internships program development through Galaxy Explorers; funded by the National Science Foundation; implemented
  • 1998 Developing meaningful solar system dynamics analogies (i.e. cratering, sand dunes, and atmospheric phenomena) through Planetary Landscapes—Bringing the Universe Down to Earth; funded by the National Science Foundation; implemented
  • 1988– Meteoritics and meteorite crater formation; ongoing research
  • 1988-1991 Common Astronomy Misconceptions and Preconceptions; doctoral research
  • 1982– Planetary monitoring observations, primarily Mars and Jupiter; ongoing research
  • 1973– Total Solar Eclipse phenomena; specifically sunrise–sunset effect and shadow research; ongoing research

Publications and Presentations


  • Meteoritics, AstroCon 2004, July 2004
  • Dragon Skies–Astronomy of Ancient China, Kansas City Astronomical Society, October 2003
  • The Current State of Meteoritical Research, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Conference, August 2003
  • Falling Stars: The Story of Meteors and Meteorites, The Astronomical League, July 2003
  • The Celestial Southern Hemisphere, South Africa Eclipse Expedition, November 2002
  • Dragon Skies–Astronomy of Ancient China, Invited speaker at the China–United States sciences collaboration symposia at the *National Academy of Sciences, October 2002
  • Meteoritics, Mount Diablo Astronomical Society, October 2002
  • Dragon Skies–Astronomy of Ancient China, Association of Science–Technology Centers, October 2002
  • Falling Stars: The Story of Meteors and Meteorites, Kansas “IC Stars” Star Party, September 2002
  • Falling Stars: The Story of Meteors and Meteorites, University of North Florida Science Colloquium, August 2002
  • The 2001 Total Solar Eclipse Results, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, August 2002
  • Research at the new Chabot Space & Science Center, The Astronomical League, August 2002
  • Meteoritics. San Jose Astronomical Society, July 2002
  • Meteoritics. San Mateo Community College, April 2002
  • Operation of the Clark and Brashear Refractors, Antique Telescope Society, September 2001
  • The New Chabot Space & Science Center, Association of Science–Technology Centers, October 2001
  • Upcoming Eclipses, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, July 2001
  • The June Total Solar Eclipse, Zambia Eclipse Expedition, June 2001
  • The Southern Hemisphere, Zambia Eclipse Expedition, June 2001
  • Meteorite Chemistry, Eastbay Astronomical Society, February 2001
  • Astronomy Education in the United States, China–United States Science Forum, Beijing, November 2000
  • Astronomy Research at the new Chabot Space & Science Center, Riverside Telescope Makers Conference, June 2000


  • Reynolds, Mike D. Binocular Stargazing; Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books (fall 2005).
  • Reynolds, Mike D. 2003 Eclipses, Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (accepted for publication March 2004).
  • Reynolds, Mike D. The Tswaing Meteorite Crater, Meteoritics (accepted for publication, spring 2004).
  • Reynolds, Mike D. An Exhibition on Meteorites and Meteoritics, Meteorite! (accepted for publication, fall 2003).
  • Reynolds, Mike D. Meteoritics, Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (accepted for publication December 2003).
  • Reynolds, Mike D. Falling Stars, Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2001.
  • Reynolds, Mike D. Results from the 2001 Total Solar Eclipse. Journal of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers December 2001.
  • Reynolds, Mike D. The New Chabot Space & Science Center. The Reflector February 2001.
  • Huebner, Jay S., Michael D. Reynolds and Terry L. Smith. Basic Astronomy Labs. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice–Hall, 1996.
  • Reynolds, Michael D. and Richard A. Sweetsir. Observe Eclipses. 2nd edition. Washington, D. C.: Astronomical League, 1995.
  • Reynolds, Michael D. Two–Dimensional versus Three–Dimensional Conceptualization in Astronomy. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 1990; Dissertation.
  • Reynolds, Mike and Don Parker. Hypering Film for Planetary Photography. Sky & Telescope; June 1988.
  • Reynolds, Mike. Macgill’s Space Exploration Series, five chapters, 1988:

• Apollo–Soyuz Test Project; • Gemini 6a and 7; • Orbiting Astronomical Observatories; • Skylab; and • Venusian Geology. Sweetsir, Richard A. and Michael D. Reynolds. Observe Eclipses. Washington, D. C.: Astronomical League, 1979

Education Consulting Projects

  • Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center; Downey, California, February 2005 to present.
  • Designing and writing summer programs curriculum and activities.
  • University of North Florida, May 2004 to present.
  • Planning group for a new Science Museum project.
  • The W Foundation, May-June 2004.
  • Design and implementation of space program exhibition for events and at the USS Hornet’s Splashdown 2004.
  • Roberson Science Center and Observatory Binghamton, New York, July 2001.
  • Review of current museum and observatory programs and exhibits with recommendations for future programs and exhibits.
  • Rio de Janeiro Planetarium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2001.
  • Part of three–member team to review programmatic master plan for physical science exhibitions and program in association with the Planetarium.
  • Sao Paulo Museum project, Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2001.
  • Consultation regarding future major science center for Sao Paulo in association with the world–renown Sao Paulo Zoo.
  • China–United States Science Programs, National Science Foundation, October–November 2000.
  • Review of science, science history, and public understanding of science and research programs in China including opportunities for collaboration.

Professional Affiliations

Offices and Committee Memberships

  • Chair, AstronomyOutreach network Awards Committee 2004-Present
  • Vice–President, Antique Telescope Society; 2000–2003
  • President, Antique Telescope Society; 2003 to present
  • Eclipse section Coordinator, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers; 1999 to present
  • Board member, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers; 2003 to present
  • Executive and Finance Committee member, The W Foundation; 2002 to present (Non–profit Board for support of space education)
  • Board member, The Star Garden Foundation; 2002 to present (Non–profit Board for the support of astronomy education)
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