People I'd love to job shadow

I really enjoy teaching, but there are a few people that'd be able to convince me to take a hiatus from my current career track if they offered me a position. Here are three of them:

Richard Preston

Richard Preston is perhaps best known for writing articles on scientists and science in New Yorker magazine. He's well known for his article on people with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome- a genetic disorder that is perhaps most dramatically characterized by involuntary self-mutilation. In a recent Science Friday interview, he also discusses his brush with danger at a Level 4 biohazard facility, among other things. Dr. Preston, if you ever need a note-taker (or other technical support) during your research trips, I'm available.

Listen to the Science Friday episode here (.mp3 file)

Nathan Myhrvolds

Described on his TED Talk page as a "professional jack-of-all-trades," Nathan Myhrvolds has been the CTO of Microsoft, won a world championship for BBQ, discovered Tyrannasaurus Rex skeletons, and taken award winning photographs of wildlife. He's obviously a smart dude with skills, passion, and the money to fund them. Well, Mr. Myhrvolds, I love BBQ, enjoy wildlife, believe in the SETI program, and enjoy all manners of volcanoes. If you need a taste-tester, tripod holder, or alien hunter side-kick, I think I'm a good choice.

Nathan Myhrvolds' TED Talk does contain a couple PG-13 words, but those words do tend to be used quite accurately (Thanks to BoingBoing for the tip).

Robert Ballard

Yes, this is the Robert Ballard who re-discovered the Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. However, that was hardly the only highlight in his career of exploring the depths of the ocean. In his TED Talk, he passionately petitions for a higher priority in exploring one of the largest unknowns in the universe: the depths of Earth's own oceans. Dr. Ballard, I think I could definitely help you out. First, you're interested in working with educating youth. Me too! Second, I have a degree in geology. Third, I already am a member of the Mystic Aquarium, which is a partner with the Institute for Exploration that you founded. I'll be living 25 minutes or so from Mystic, CT, and about 45 minutes away from the University of Rhode Island. Sounds like a natural fit, no?

Robert Ballard's TED Talk

Now, I don't really expect to hear from any of these guys¹, but I'd love to spend a summer following them around. I'm captivated not only by what they do, but their passion for it as well.

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¹ Except maybe you, Robert Ballard. C'mon! I'm right in the neighborhood! :-)