Lunar and Planetary Institute

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Who We Are

Heather DaltonHeather Dalton / 281-486-2175

My first experience at the Lunar and Planetary Institute was an internship in 2004, during which I performed experiments on a Martian meteorite.  That internship sparked my interest in planetary science, which I continued studying through graduate school at Arizona State University and Rice University. Throughout grad school, I found that I was enjoying teaching and participating in outreach events more than research, so I returned to LPI and joined the Education Team in January of 2010.

I am a member of the Planetary Science Education and Public Outreach Forum, which is seeking to improve the coherence, efficiency, sustainability, and effectiveness of NASA’s Education and Public Outreach program.  I enjoy being involved in a program which allows us to fundamentally shape how planetary science is taught, both in schools at the K-12 and university levels and in informal settings.

Keliann LaConteKeliann LaConte / 281-486-2166

I am the point-of-contact for the Lunar and Planetary Institute’s Explore! program for librarians and after-school providers, a job which happily entails serving as a workshop leader, developing and updating Explore! activity modules, and creating publications. I also work with the other education team members to develop and deliver educational products to teachers, informal educators, and the general public. My training is in chemistry, astrobiology, and environmental science, but my passion is for science education. I have worked for a museum, aquariums, and most recently, as a park naturalist. I joined the education team in March 2009, and I am honored to be a part of their efforts in connecting diverse audiences with lunar and planetary science.

Andrew ShanerAndrew Shaner / 281-486-2163

Arriving at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in July of 2009, I was immediately thrust into the crazy Houston humidity and the lunar community after spending four years in the Arizona desert working with the Red Planet. While pursuing my graduate studies in science education and planetary science at the University of Arizona, I was the education and public outreach coordinator for the Mars Phoenix Mission. My experiences, though Mars-centric, served me well in preparing me for my new lunar duties at LPI. Here, I coordinate education and public outreach programs associated with the LPI node of NASA’s Lunar Science Institute, and coordinate content delivered through LPI’s MyMoon website. Through my work, I strive to bring the Moon down to Earth so the public can embrace the Moon as the nearest Earth object and our neighbor in the cosmos.

Stephanie ShippStephanie Shipp / 281-486-2109

I joined the Education Team as Manager in June of 2003, expanding my horizons significantly. My background is in glacial geology – training that is pertinent to some of the celestial bodies in our solar system! While working on my degree in Geology and Geophysics at Rice University, I became interested in making a connection between the public and the scientific research in which I was involved. I collaborated with the Education Development Center and the American Museum of Natural History to develop an Internet-based middle-school curriculum — Antarctica: The Farthest Place Close to Home - that centered on Antarctica as a theme to engage students in earth science. For eight years, I also directed the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic Program (TEA), a program in which K-12 teachers work in the field with polar researchers and transfer the experience of research to the classroom. Working closely with educators taught me the value of collaboration between researchers and teachers in the development of strong science educational materials and programs.

My involvement in the education programs at LPI ranges from oversight to design to development and implementation. We have several exciting programs and an energetic, talented staff that is devoted to creating innovative, high quality educational experiences and environments for teachers, students, and the general public.

Christine ShuplaChristine Shupla / 281-486-2135

Before joining the Lunar and Planetary Institute, I spent 16 years in the planetarium field, concluding with the great joy and challenge of managing the Dorrance Planetarium at the Arizona Science Center. I've greatly enjoyed teaching astronomy to hundreds of thousands of visitors, and the details involved in creating new planetarium shows. Eventually, it was time for a new challenge.

I joined the education team at LPI in October of 2005. My primary responsibilities are designing and implementing our in-service professional development efforts, developing some of our classroom activities, and working with others to lead our pre-service education initiatives. I also help with new education program development and our other programs as needed. It is very rewarding to be part of such a talented team, bringing space science to educators and our community.