Bio – Jeff Goldstein

Key Staff

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, NCESSE Center Director

Jeff Goldstein, Ph.D.
Center Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)

Institute Director, Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education

Twitter: http//

Dr. Jeff Goldstein is a nationally recognized science educator, and planetary scientist, who has dedicated his career to the public understanding of science and the joys of learning.

As NCESSE Center Director, he is responsible for overseeing the creation and delivery of national science education initiatives with a focus on earth and space. These include programs for schools, families, and the public; professional development for grade K-12 educators; and exhibitions for museums and science centers. Initiatives are meant to provide a window on the nature of science and the lives of modern-day explorers, with special emphasis on not just what is known about Earth and space but how it has come to be known. Programs embrace a Learning Community Model for science education.

Jeff oversaw the creation of the Center’s national science education initiatives, including the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), which immerses hundreds of students across each participating community in every facet of real research. Since program operations began in 2010, 49,600 students across 110 communities have been fully immersed in real experiment design, 5,090 proposals for microgravity experiments have been received from student teams, 113 experiments have been selected for flight, and 73 have already been flown on the final two Space Shuttle flights and to the International Space Station (ISS) on the SpaceX Dragon vehicle – the first commercial spacecraft to dock with ISS. (Explore the communities participating in SSEP.)

As Director of the Voyage National Program, he led the inter-organizational team that permanently installed the Voyage model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in front of the Smithsonian and between the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument.  He is also the author of the storyboards. The exhibition is dedicated to an understanding of Earth’s place in space. The Center is now permanently installing replicas in communities world-wide (see Voyage in DC, Houston, Corpus Christi, and Kansas City.)

Jeff is Director for the Center’s activities supporting NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft mission to Mercury, which includes establishment of the MESSENGER Educator Fellows, a corps of master science teachers that are providing training for 27,000 teachers on Solar System science and exploration content. He also oversees Journey through the Universe—a national science education initiative that engages entire communities—students, teachers, families, and the public. Since program inception, over 200,000 students have participated in the program.

He also directs the Family Science Night program at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and is the principal speaker. The program has provided a school field trip designed for family learning, after-hours in one of the most visited museums on the planet, for over 50,000 parents, students, and teachers since program inception in 1993.

Jeff is a blogger at the Huffington Post, and writes Blog on the Universe. A collection of his essays on education, science and STEM education, climate change, space exploration, and the universe can be found here.

Jeff’s planetary science research includes the development of techniques for measuring global winds on other planets using large telescopes on Earth. He developed computer models for the circulation of planetary atmospheres (models of global winds), and built ultra-stable CO2 laser systems for infrared heterodyne spectrometers. The laser systems enabled these spectrometers to measure gentle breezes of 2 mph (1 meter/sec) on planets tens of millions of miles away. His research has produced the first direct measurement of the global winds above the clouds on Venus, and the first measurement of the global winds on Mars.

Program Director: Voyage National Program, Journey through the Universe, MESSENGER Educator Fellowship Program, Family Science Night at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Student Spaceflight Experiments Program
Blogger: Dr. Jeff’s Blog on the Universe
Contributing Blogger: Huffington Post
Contributing Blogger: The Climate Community
Full Bio at Blog on the Universe; CV on LinkedIn
Prior: EVP for Space Science Education and Research, Challenger Center (1996-2005); Astrophysicist, Laboratory for Astrophysics, Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (1989-1996), departing as Acting Chair
Degrees: B.A., Physics, Queens College, City University of New York; M.S. and Ph.D., Astrophysics, University of Pennsylvania; recipient of the 1990 Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis Award, U. Penn Chapter, Sigma Xi
Ph.D. research as NASA Graduate Student Researcher, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; attended the Bronx High School of Science; recipient of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s 2005 Klumpke-Roberts Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Public Understanding and Appreciation of Astronomy”; recipient of the 1995 Barry M. Goldwater Educator of the Year Award from the National Capital Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for “an individual of national stature who has supported the advancement of science and technology in commerce and education at all levels”; numerous keynote addresses at conferences, including the 2011 National Science Teachers Association National Conference Keynote in San Francisco, to 6,000 teachers of science (also see KAPPA DELTA PI Keynote, October 2013); over 1,000 public presentations; over 200 workshops for K-12 educators.

Highlight: Symphony of Science Music Video We’ve Got To Be That Light
A remix of Dr. Goldstein’s keynote address to 6,000 teachers at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference, March 2011.


Highlight: Jeff Goldstein Interview on Human Exploration with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Interview with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s Kauffman Conversations –  “highlight interviews with guests whose ideas and insights are changing society. We are privileged to talk to these thought leaders, innovators, experts and authors and share their observations about their work, lives, and fields of expertise.” The interview addresses the nature of human existence in the greater universe using the context of the Voyage 1 to 10 billion scale model Solar System installed in Kansas City, MO, which is a replica of Voyage on the National Mall in Washington, DC.