Welcome to my website!


Welcome to my blog site! I have the good fortune to travel the world for work and pleasure, meeting people from all walks of life. I am the founding Chair and Professor of the Department of Geology at Rowan University.

I am also a member of two space missions, OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa2. For OSIRIS-REx, I am also an upper manager of the science team and am the first Mission Sample Scientist in history.

I am openly gay, proud to be who I am, and practice Buddhism through the Tibetan tradition. I hope you enjoy exploring my site, learning about me and my life and, most importantly, the nature of science and scientists, which this site is, in part, devoted to teaching about.




Arrival at Bennu gif!


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Closure of SRC with TAGSAM collect head locked into place! The event took place on 28 October 2020!


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TAGSAM collection head ‘leaking’ particles of Bennu post-collection, 22 October 2020.

19 November 2020: We did it! OSIRIS-REx collected a sample on 20 October 2020 and wow did it collect! We penetrated the surface about 48 cm and it seems the collection head was totally packed. In fact, as we articulated the arm towards the cameras to image the TAGSAM (Touch and Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism) head, we imaged particles escaping from the collector! We canceled the Sample Mass Movement (SMM) event and stowed the sample one week ahead of schedule.

13 September 2020: It’s been a long time since I have updated this site. OSIRIS-REx is healthy and we will be collecting a sample in a little over a month. Our two practice maneuvers were highly successful. Since the pandemic of COVID 19 hit, life has been interesting. Please stay tuned for more posts in the near future and I hope you are all well!

17 July 2019: Since 12 June 2019, OSIRIS-REx has successfully entered into Orbital B and has successfully be moving to complete the new mapping campaign. One of the major emphases of orbit B will be to look for additional particle ejection events from OSIRIS-REx, an active, type B asteroid. In addition, OLA will take extensive data of the surface of Bennu–a first in the history of small, rocky-body exploration.

31 December 2018: OSIRIS-REx successfully maneuvered into orbit around asteroid Bennu. Bennu is the smallest Solar System body to ever be orbited by a spacecraft.

12 December 2018: We announced the detection of hydrated minerals on the surface of asteroid Bennu, just as was predicted by the team (and others) before arrival! We also predicted the shape correctly, thanks to Mike Nolan and others. So exciting.

16 November 2018: OSIRIS-REx image of target asteroid Bennu!

Watch the PBS News Hour short on OSIRIS-REx!

Video Blog


Through my video blog, I share the experiences of my exploration of space and time and, of course, the greatest practice of them all, the human experience known as life. Sometimes we have a lot of fun making the video blogs!

Check out my last video blog here

For all previous video blogs, please see my the blog section of this website.



Science does not live in a vacuum, nor can it. Science is also not the ‘evil empire’. In my podcast, I sit down with friends and colleagues to discuss their experiences in science, engineering, space missions, and life.  In these podcast my guests and I explore what it means to work within the natural-physical sciences (science henceforth), engineering, and even art and through our discussions we share life experiences. Together, my guests and I explore why scientists are no different than anyone else. We explore how there is no conflict between science and any other area of life or academic discipline other than what is created in the minds of people who do not understand science and scientists.

To listen to my Podcasts, click here.