A physicist and educator, Rob has served as an officer and meteorologist in the U.S. Air Force, worked for NASA on the International Space Station project, and taught on the faculty of three universities. His scientific work has included research into interactions of spacecraft with the space environment, the fundamental nature of light and information, and Earth’s changing climate. For the past decade, Rob’s work has focused on communicating the critical science of climate change and sustainable systems.
Rob grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota. His fascination with science was born of the landscape around him — mountains, caves, and canyons; Badlands and dinosaur bones; granite spires and dark midnight skies. Summers were spent hiking Lookout Mountain and Spearfish Canyon, winters were spent skiing nearby mountain peaks. He gazed skyward through grandfather’s telescope, watched in awe the fearsome power of high plains thunderstorms, and poured over the World Book Encyclopedia that occupied two shelves of the living room bookcase. It was a childhood filled with theater, literature and music; chemistry sets, microscopes and math competitions. Newton blended seamlessly with Shakespeare, Einstein with Seneca, Darwin with Vonnegut. Rob's not sure he distinguished, at the time, between scientific endeavor and artistic endeavor; it was all just human endeavor. And he still feels that way today.
As a principal author of this performance, along with the Fry Street Quartet, Rob seeks to effect a deep-seated, visceral, and factual communication of our challenges and opportunities…
“Our purpose, I think, is not the wrangling of those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge our challenges, but rather to speed the journey of those who do understand, but have not yet begun to live that understanding.“