Pamela L. Gay

Pamela L. Gay

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Dr. Pamela L. Gay is an American astronomer
An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

, educator, podcaster, and writer
A writer is a person who produces literature, such as novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, poetry, or other literary art. Skilled writers are able to use language to portray ideas and images....

, best known for her work in astronomical podcasting
A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

. She was one of the cofounders of Slacker Astronomy
Slacker Astronomy
Slacker Astronomy is a weekly audio podcast about astronomy news that aired weekly from February 14, 2005 to September 14, 2006. After that, it branched out as a video podcast, blog, forum and a wiki called Slackerpedia Galactica....

, and was an "on air" personality for the show from February 2005 until the end of its first iteration in September 2006. She currently works with Fraser Cain in co-hosting Astronomy Cast
Astronomy Cast
Astronomy Cast is an educational nonprofit podcast discussing various topics in the field of astronomy. The specific subject matter of each episode shifts from week to week, ranging from planets and stars to cosmology and mythbusting...

. She received her PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2002.

Gay's main affiliation is as a visiting assistant professor of Physics at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. There she teaches introductory physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 and astronomy courses. However her professional interests and responsibilities range across the world. She maintains simultaneous appointments as an instructor with the Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology
Swinburne University of Technology is an Australian public dual sector university based in Melbourne, Victoria. The institution was founded by the Honourable George Swinburne in 1908 and achieved university status in June 1992...

 in Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 as part of their astronomical distance learning program.

Gay is also active in collaborative outreach efforts within the astronomical community. Her main research interests include RR Lyrae
RR Lyrae variable
RR Lyrae variables are periodic variable stars, commonly found in globular clusters, and often used as standard candles to measure galactic distances.This type of variable is named after the prototype, the variable star RR Lyrae in the constellation Lyra....

A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

s with which she collaborates with both professional and amateur astronomers across the world in order to gather needed data.

She is on the Council (Board of Directors) for the American Association of Variable Star Observers
American Association of Variable Star Observers
Since its founding in 1911, the American Association of Variable Star Observers has coordinated, collected, evaluated, analyzed, published, and archived variable star observations made largely by amateur astronomers and makes the records available to professional astronomers, researchers, and...

, as well as its Educational Committee Chair.

Gay was co-chair of the United States new media efforts with regard to the International Year of Astronomy
International Year of Astronomy
The International Year of Astronomy was a year-long celebration of astronomy that took place in 2009 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei and the publication of Johannes Kepler's Astronomia nova in the 17th century...

, 2009.

She makes her home in Illinois with her husband, two dogs, and a lot of books.

External links