After acquiring a BSc in Physics and Astronomy from the University of British Columbia, Jay became a weather forecaster with Environment Canada, the Canadian government’s official forecast agency. He compiled a study of weather prospects for the 1979 total solar eclipse and has been producing studies of the climatology along eclipse tracks ever since. In 1990, he joined with Fred Espenak to create, under NASA auspices, official compilations of upcoming eclipses.
In 1994, he joined Travel Bug (the precursor to TravelQuest) to help find an eclipse-viewing site in Bolivia. When Travel Bug turned into TravelQuest, Jay became an instrumental part of TravelQuest’s eclipse-site location team and has worked with Aram Kaprielian steadily since that time. He has also led numerous TQ eclipse tours. Now retired from the Meteorological Service, he is currently the editor in chief for the Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, an ongoing contributor for the RASC’s Observer’s Handbook, and an occasional instructor in meteorology and climate change at the University of Manitoba.
Bill is an associate editor at Discover magazine, where he writes and edits stories about all the sciences, but he remains the resident “space guru.” Before joining the Discover staff, he worked as an editor at Astronomy magazine and spent time at the Mayo Clinic and New York Times Student Journalism Institute. He’s always loved space and the physical sciences, and enjoys convincing people (in person or through his writing) that they do, too. He even has a favorite equation, and knows how to juggle.
Bill lives in Milwaukee with his wife and her cat, taking every chance to talk about astronomy and visit other exotic locales. Since his youth, he’s enjoyed varied and storied travels, from the tunnels beneath Seattle to the rooftops of MIT, and the swamps of south Florida to the cafes of Paris. Perhaps one day, he’ll watch c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
Kelly is a Senior Editor at Sky & Telescope magazine and has been explaining the science and wonder of astronomy to the public since 1974. An award-winning writer and communicator, he specializes in planetary science and space exploration. He holds a Bachelors degree from the California Institute of Technology and a Master’s degree in science journalism from Boston University.
Kelly enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy with a wide spectrum of audiences, from children to professional astronomers, and his work has appeared in numerous other magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias. You’ll occasionally hear his interviews and guest commentaries on National Public Radio. He observes the night sky often through one of his eight telescopes.
He has been leading astronomical tours since 1991, including eleven total solar-eclipse expeditions. Two of his three TQ airborne charter flights that carried passengers literally to the ends of the Earth — skirting the North and South Poles — to witness totality. He orchestrated TQ’s viewing of the 2004 Transit of Venus from Castel Gandolfo, Italy, served as Trip Leader/Astronomer for the 2012 Venus Transit tour in Tahiti and led a trip to Costa Rica in 2015 to enjoy the Southern Sky.
Eric is an associate editor at Discover magazine, where he covers everything from cosmology to climate change. He holds a degree in both astronomy and physics, and he studied Mars before adding another degree in journalism. Prior to joining Discover, Eric worked at Astronomy magazine and was a science reporter in Flagstaff, Arizona — the world’s first International Dark-Sky City. He now lives in Milwaukee and enjoys restoring his old Volkswagen camper, Vega. Eric also loves peddling science to the public in fun ways. He’s worked the halls of ComicCon and was recently onset in Budapest for the Hollywood blockbuster The Martian.
In his travels, Eric tries to get off the beaten path. He’s seen the southern stars from Patagonia, surveyed some of Antarctica’s most remote glaciers, explored the defunct Superconducting Super Collider tunnels, and backpacked hundreds of miles of Southwestern canyonlands. His favorite place in the world is still the Grand Canyon after dark.
Cathrine was born and raised in Norway and later studied economics and history in Norway and Sweden and returned to the cold, natural beauty of Norway where she now lives (albeit part time). For years Cathrine worked as an alpine ski instructor while also escorting large incentive groups all over Europe. Nowadays, in addition to living with her family in a small town by the Oslo Fjord, Cathrine spends time in Paris which she also loves.
In 2001 Cathrine fell in love with Africa and, for the past 8 years, she has managed her own company, Ditt Afrika – a tour operator which allows her to indulge another passion, camping in the African bush. In fact, Cathrine met our TQ team on a train in South Africa, and then joined us on a South Pacific Cruise in 2012, adding a new passion! Being a proud Norwegian she obviously joined us for the Svalbard eclipse in 2015.
Cathrine is super-organized and accepts travel challenges with her great smile and infectious laugh.
Hans Clugston trained in anthropology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He had the typical stints of university teaching, museum work, lab work, and fieldwork in Latin America. Hans also worked on-tour for a national travel company and as the Director of Operations for a Central American tourism development company. For more than 20 years, Hans and his family have made their home in Prescott, where these days he is a partner at one of the oldest law firms in Northern Arizona.
Hans has accompanied eclipse-chasing TravelQuest travelers since 2008 — to the Gobi Desert, Shanghai, and Mt. Kenya. He has also participated in TravelQuest’s pre-tour scouting trips and worked with numerous TravelQuest trip leaders and tour professionals. Without question, eclipse travel has become one of the most important destinations and journeys in his personal and professional life.
For more than four decades, Paul has been helping others discover the wonder and beauty of the night sky via his work at several Canadian planetariums and as an editor at Sky & Telescope magazine. While at S&T, he joined his first TravelQuest trip — a 2002 northern lights tour to Alaska. Since becoming a freelance astronomy writer/editor, Paul has combined his passion for astronomy with his love of travel, journeying with TQ to China, Turkey, Chile, Iceland, and Norway for eclipse and aurora viewing. He maintains that Iceland is one of the most amazing (and photogenic) places on Earth.
Travel and education have been at the heart of David’s life path. David has found a way to combine these two endeavors, leading to hours of adventure, service, and learning. As a former classroom teacher, school principal, and now teacher of teachers, David has helped lead learning experiences all over the world.
As a School Designer for Expeditionary Learning, David works to both create and transform schools around the United States. At the heart of Expeditionary Learning is the opportunity to learn experientially, a component that aligns well with helping lead trips for TravelQuest (including our annular eclipse trip in 2012). David loves exploring and encouraging others to gain as much from an experience as possible — you can ask his three children, who are not sure if their dad knows what “vacation” truly means!
Dave Eicher is one of the most widely recognized astronomy enthusiasts in the world. He has been with Astronomy magazine for 34 years, beginning as an assistant editor and working through associate, senior, and managing positions. He has been the magazine’s chief editor since 2002.
Dave has spoken widely to amateur astronomy groups, logged many hundreds of hours at the eyepiece, and written eight books on astronomy. Among the most used by amateur astronomers are The New Cosmos: Answering Astronomy’s Big Questions, Comets: Visitors from Deep Space, The Universe from Your Backyard, Deep-Sky Observing with Small Telescopes, and Stars and Galaxies. He is currently working on a major book on galaxies.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Starmus Festival, President of the Astronomy Foundation, Editor-in-Chief of the international Asteroid Day project, and very involved in mineralogy, blues and rock drumming, and studies of American history.
Dr. Rick Fienberg is Press Officer of the American Astronomical Society. Earlier he spent 22 years at Sky & Telescope magazine, the last 8 as Editor in Chief. He’s a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 9983 Rickfienberg in his honor, and NASA awarded him its Exceptional Public Achievement Medal “for exceptional service to the nation in [his] tireless efforts for the public’s safe solar viewing of the 2017 total solar eclipse.”
Before joining S&T, Rick earned his B.A. in physics at Rice University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy at Harvard University; he has done research on the aurora borealis, asteroids, planetary nebulas, active galaxies, and the center of the Milky Way. He is a co-creator of the Galileoscope educational telescope kit, a Cornerstone Project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and the International Year of Light 2015.
Though trained as a professional astronomer, Rick remains an amateur at heart, observing the sky and taking astrophotos from his private observatory in central New Hampshire. An inveterate traveler and eclipse-chaser, he has visited all seven continents and the North and South Poles.