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Presenter 1: Willis Jenkins, Program Executive
IBEX Media Teleconference: Presenters Biographies
Willis Jenkins is a program executive in the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Within his role in the Explorer Program, Jenkins is responsible for projects from definition and formulation through funding and accomplishment of objectives.
Jenkins came to NASA headquarters as a program executive in 2003. He began his career with NASA at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., in 1994.
Jenkins was awarded one of NASA’s highest honors, the Medal for Exceptional Service, for his contributions to the successful launch of NOAA-K (NOAA-15). He has also garnered accolades for his work performance at the agency, including an outstanding team effort on the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite Program. He was nominated Black Engineer of the Year in 2001. He also received the outstanding Professional Excellence in Federal Career Award, signed by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.
Prior to NASA, Jenkins enjoyed a successful career in the private sector. As an electrical systems manager at McDonnell Douglass, Seabrook, Md, he managed the electrical systems for all NASA Pegasus missions and supported the orbital launch service managers on launch vehicles (Pegasus, Scout, Delta and Atlas). He trained military personnel and provided expertise in the integration and testing of flight and ground communication units as a production test engineer with American Systems Corporation, Chantilly, Va. At General Electric, Rockville, Md., he developed software for mainframe computers. He began his career as an electrical engineer at E-Systems, Falls Church, Va.
Jenkins earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. At age 15, Willis was accepted to a program called A Better Chance (ABC). The program placed talented inner city youth in schools with rigorous academic programs. He left Washington, D.C., to finish his high school career at public schools in North Andover and Amherst, Massachusetts.
Staying close to his Washington, D.C., hometown, he lives in Maryland with his wife of 24 years and their two daughters; one in college and the other one in high school. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, restoring antique Buicks and mentoring children in the community.
Presenter 2: Greg Frazier, Mission Manager
Gregory Frazier has been employed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for over 25 years. He has worked on numerous flight projects currently in orbit making Earth and Space Science observations. Greg started at Goddard as a member of the mechanical engineering branch. He engineered various mechanical systems on projects such as the Cosmic Background Explorer, the X-ray Timing Explorer, Gamma-Ray Observatory, the Earth Science Systems Pathfinder Project and the Swift Project. Greg is now a member of the flight projects directorate where he is the Interstellar Boundary Explorer Mission Manager.
Presenter 3: Dave McComas, Principal Investigator
Dr. David J. McComas is senior executive director of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. He currently serves as principal investigator of the IBEX and Two Wide-angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS) NASA missions. He has published more than 300 papers on various space physics topics, including coronal, solar wind, heliospheric, magnetospheric, cometary and planetary science, as well as numerous space flight instruments, missions, and techniques. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Presenter 4: Eric Christian, Program Scientist
Dr. Eric Christian is the Program Scientist for the Solar Terrestrial Probes program at NASA Headquarters, and is also a Program Scientist for STEREO, ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer), IBEX (Interstellar Boundary Explorer), RBSP (Radiation Belt Storm Probes) and the two Voyager spacecraft. His scientific background is in energetic particles (galactic cosmic rays, anomalous cosmic rays, and solar energetic particles) and the design, construction, integration and test of particle detectors. Before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2002, he was Deputy Project Scientist for ACE, and has worked on Voyager and a large number of sub-orbital balloon experiments. He has also been active in Education and Public Outreach for his entire career. Dr. Christian has a BA in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania (1982) and a PhD in Physics from the California Institute of Technology (1989).
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