Area(s) of special interest: Privatization of spaceflight and space tourism. I would also like to try my hand at astrophotography, and I enjoy taking my scope to public events where someone new may get interested in astronomy after looking through a telescope for the first time.
AAS: Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby?
TJ: I'm a longtime space enthusiast, but I bought my first telescope just 4years ago.
AAS: What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy?
TJ: My interest in space in
general began during the Skylab missions when they showed video of the
astronauts floating around inside Skylab. My interest in astronomy really
began when I had to teach a regular class in astronomy at Space Camp in
Huntsville. My first good telescope experience was in Arizona while taking
part in an Astronomical Adventures tour.
AAS. Tell us a little about your family members; spouse? kids? siblings? significant other?
TJ: I am married to the former Mary-Aileen McLemore of Montgomery. We have two incredible sons.
AAS: Can you tell us a little about your formal education?
TJ: Graduated from Huntsville High School, Huntsville, AL, and attended Huntingdon College, UAH, and graduated Auburn University in 1993.
AAS: Do you have any pets? What kind? How Many?
TJ: No pets yet.
AAS: Where do you work? If you're retired, what was your occupation? If you're still in school, have you chosen a career?
TJ: I have been a realtor for 8 1/2 years in Montgomery. I am the president of the Multiple Listing Service, and will be president of the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors in 2007.
AAS: Besides astronomy, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
TJ: Masters swimming, birding, space tourism, hiking, travel, and lots of reading.
AAS: What was your first or favorite car?
TJ: A pedal firetruck when I was 3. Nothing I have had since then can compare.
AAS: What was your first or most interesting job?
TJ: I worked for many years at Space Camp/Academy in Huntsville. I started as a counselor instructing a new team of children each week, but spent most of my time as the chief lecturer and instructor for the entire camp program. I taught space history, spacecraft systems, spacesuit systems, astronomy, crew systems, shuttle launch procedures, and others. I also worked for a year with Space Adventures, a company offering high-end space orientated travel adventures. Space Adventures brokered the very first private trips to the space station via Russian Soyuz rockets, and they offer many other space related adventures.
AAS: Tell us about your favorite vacation.
TJ: A 10 day trip to Arizona with my wife, that included a three-day hike of the Grand Canyon.
AAS: Have you ever lived in some other part of the U.S. or another country? Where? When?
TJ: Grew-up on an Air Force base in Georgia, lived in England for 6 months when I was 11, but lived most of the rest of my life in Alabama.
AAS: This is your space. Tell us anything else about yourself that you'd like to share.
TJ: I am also a member of the
Solar System Ambassador program for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I may
be available for speaking events at your children's schools or your own
civic organizations. You can find out more about the program at http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador/index.html