Joel Parker

Joel Parker
Joel Parker

Director at the Southwest Research Institute

Joel Parker is a research astronomer, space mission manager, and Director at the Southwest Research Institute.  He studied astronomy and physics at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Colorado at Boulder, receiving his Ph.D. in 1992. He has worked at NASA in Houston and Maryland, and among other projects has been a scientist for telescopes that have flown on the space shuttle, and has used the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories in space and around the world for his research of comets, asteroids, and massive stars.  He is honored to be a science team member and project manager on space missions to the Moon, comets, and the outer solar system, and is the Deputy PI on the Alice UV spectrograph on the Rosetta mission.  Joel also has been an actor, director, and crew member on stage, film, and TV for more than 35 years, a musician for more than 40 years, and for over 10 years has been a host and producer of the radio science show "How on Earth".  He loves to combine his research and performance experience to promote science and education and public outreach.  Joel lives in Boulder, Colorado.