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Dr. George D. Nelson is the Director of Science Mathematics, and Technology Education and Full
Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Western Washington University. He has served as the Director
of Project 2061 and senior staff at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and
as Associate Vice Provost for Research and Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of
Washington. From 1978 to 1989 he was a NASA Astronaut and flew as a Mission Specialist on three
Space Shuttle missions. He has done astrophysics research at the University of Utrecht and the University
of Göttingen and presented at conferences in Russia, Uzbekistan, Great Britain, France, Kenya, Brazil,
and the Dominican Republic. His current research is focused on education reform and the preparation
of mathematics and science teachers. He has received many honors and awards including the NASA
medal for Exceptional Engineering Achievement, the Faculty Outstanding Service Award from Western
Washington University, and election to membership in the Washington State Academy of Science. In
2009 he was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. He earned his B.S. in physics from Harvey Mudd
College and M.S. and Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Washington.