Biographies

Dr. Jerry Potter
Jerry has nearly 30 years of experience in climate studies at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he is now the Deputy Director of the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison. The role of the program is to help improve climate models by carefully studying how well the models simulate the present climate. Jerry’s other duties include working with laboratories and government to help improve climate models. As part of his work, he participated in several scientific exchanges in Europe, China, and Russia.

Jerry was born and raised in rural Northern California near the Oregon border. After high school, he attended UCLA and earned a BA, MA and PhD in Climatology/Geography. He started working at LLNL in 1972 in an atmospheric science group that has become an internationally recognized research organization. He has published numerous journal articles on the role of clouds in climate and the predictability of climate. Jerry’s current research interests include the role of clouds in controlling climate and climate change and long term observed moisture trends in the Tropical Pacific Ocean.
   
Dr. Ron Rusay
Ron is a chemist. His Ph.D. studies and research concentrated on natural product chemistry and oceanography. He spent almost fifteen years in the chemical industry in various research and management positions before returning to the college classroom. Ron currently is a professor at Diablo Valley College and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is involved with the Modular Chemistry Consortium, MC2. He chairs an Instructional Technology faculty cluster for the Colleges of Contra Costa, serves on the California Community College Academic Senate Technology Committee and is a member of the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) Chemistry Editorial Board. Ron has been actively involved with LLNL's Science & Technology Education Program (STEP) since 1996 and is a STEP Science Education Fellow. (Detailed biography)
   

Eric Thiel

Eric Thiel teaches Biology and AP Biology at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton California. Eric has been teaching science for 27 years. During these years he has served as Scence Department Chairman and Mentor teacher in two different districts. Eric has been an Information Technology instructor for LLNL's Education Program for the last 8 years, a consultant for Lucas Learning Inc for the last four years, and a USD extension program teacher for the last two years. He has organized and taught technology workshops for many local Unified School Districts and conducted a week long seminar on "Internet Technologies in the Classroom" in San Juan Puerto Rico.

Eric holds a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Educational Technology. He was selected as 2001 PUSD Teacher of the Year, 1999 CTAP Technology Teacher of the Year, and has been recognized as a Tandy Technology Scholar. Eric is also a Co-Founder of "Project Creek Watch", which received a Golden Bell Award for excellence in education in 1999. Eric's interest in involving students in research as part of their science experience has led to Sweepstakes awards in the Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair three years in a row and 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place finishes in the Intel International Science Fair.