John Clifton

John Clifton

Auburn AL

Meade 203SC/LXD500

Special interests:  Completing the Messier catalog, Lunar and Planetary observing.

AAS:   Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby?

JC:   Just started seriously this year after my best friend (a science teacher in MN) gave me a look at Saturn through his scope.

AAS:   What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy?

JC:    I remember being very dissapointed when Apollo 11 left without me. I was fully qualified for that mission. I was six!

AAS:   How about your family members; spouse? kids? significant other?

JC:      I recently moved to Auburn for graduate school. Lot's of friends down here but family is up in Minnesota.

AAS:   Can you tell us a little about your formal education?

JC:    IBA 1986 University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA in Asian Religions, Minor in Geology, MA 1999 MN State University in Clinical Psychology. Currently working on a PhD. in Clinical Psychology at Auburn.

AAS:   Do you have any pets?

JC:     Fish

AAS:   Where do you work? If you're retired, what was your occupation?

JC:     I'm currently a Graduate Assistant in the Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at Auburn. Between 1988 and 1998 I was a professional SCUBA instructor, underwater photographer and marketing rep for several SCUBA equipment manufacturers.

AAS:   What are your other hobbies?

JC:     SCUBA diving of course, although I don't get much time to do it now. Most types of outdoor exploration, backpacking canoeing. I also raise (read kill a lot of) Bonsai trees.

AAS:   What was your first or favorite car?

JC:    Volvo 760 turbo. All black, leather interior. Power, prestige, and I managed to avoid more than a few state troopers at night by turning off the lights and engaging the "cloaking device".

AAS:   What was your first "real" job?

JC:     Filming a car crashing through winter ice in MN, from beneath it!

AAS:   Tell us about your favorite vacation.

JC:     Anywhere there's water. I did some backpacking at Isle Royale National Park in MI last summer. This is an island 42 miles out in Lake Superior. Talk about dark skies!

AAS:   Have you ever lived in some other part of the country or another country?

JC:    MN, WA,CA, and now The Heart of Dixie.

My personal favorite observing music is Jimmy Buffett's "Beach House on the Moon"