Skip to main content

5 Things About Me: Astronomer Lynn Cominsky

Thumbnail
AAAS Fellow Lynn Cominsky on the Black Rock playa before her successful Level 2 rocket certification flight. The rocket went to an altitude of about 9000 feet at nearly the speed of sound. (Photo: Lynn Cominsky)

Lynn Cominsky, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Physics and Astronomy
Sonoma State University
 

Background: Lynn Cominsky is the chair of the Physics and Astronomy department at Sonoma State University. She also directs SSU's Education and Public Outreach group, which develops innovative educational materials to inspire students in grades 5-14 to pursue STEM careers, to train teachers nationwide to use these materials in the classroom, and to enhance science literacy for the general public.

Question 1: What are you most proud of in your work?
Answer: Through our NASA-funded Astrophysics Educator Ambassador program, my group has trained a cohort of master teachers, who in turn have trained over 65,000 other STEM teachers nationwide. I have learned a lot from working with these wonderful and inspiring educators over the past 15 years.


Question 2: Share an opinion you have on a topical science-related issue—preferably one not associated with your own field.
Answer: I think that global climate change is the most important issue of our time. We need to do a much better job of communicating this to the public, as many citizens still do not believe that humans had anything to do with the increased levels of greenhouse gases that are causing the problem.

Question 3: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: I live on the Little H-bar Ranch with many animals, including three big horses, two miniature horses, two pygmy goats, one dog, three cats, five chickens and a pheasant. When I am not riding horses, I like to go to the Black Rock Desert with the AeroPac rocket club to launch high-powered rockets.  

Question 4: Tell us a short story about your childhood.
Answer: My mom was my Girl Scout troop leader for many years, and she taught us the constellations during camping trips. This started my interest in astronomy, which led to my ongoing obsession with science fiction and fantasy. When I later learned that I could be paid to study black holes, it was an easy career choice!
 
Question 5: If you had to go live on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you?
Answer: My iPod, my Kindle and a lot of water.

 

Date
Disciplines
Representative Image Caption
AAAS Fellow Lynn Cominsky on the Black Rock playa before her successful Level 2 rocket certification flight. The rocket went to an altitude of about 9000 feet at nearly the speed of sound. (Photo: Lynn Cominsky)
Blog Name

Author

Summer Allen