What man is more fortunate than he whose life work is his recreation? So wrote eminent physicist Albert Abraham Michelson in a guest register during his 1905 visit to Lowell Observatory in Arizona. This parallels a sentiment that I've held for years: Create a path in life that allows you to turn your passion into a career. Most of us have to earn a living, so why not do something you love?
My background is in paleontology but for the past 2 1/2 decades I've worked at Lowell Observatory. During most of that time I was in the education & outreach department but I now serve as the observatory's historian, documenting and sharing the stories of our important scientists--past and present--and their remarkable research.
I also write for several publications on an assortment of topics, especially various aspects of science, history, and baseball. In both my writings and presentations, I enjoy making connections between these disciplines.
I take a lot of pleasure in writing and giving programs, but also love the immersive research and exploration that goes into learning about the subject matter. My life work is truly my recreaton, and I am happy to share it here.
I am the historian at Lowell Observatory, where I've worked for more than two decades. I've been an active member of the Flagstaff history and science communities, having served as Sheriff of the Flagstaff Corral of Westerners International for 13 years and on the board of the Flagstaff Festival of Science for a similar length of time. When not digging through Lowell’s archives, I write articles for a variety of publications and contribute a bi-weekly astronomy column, “View from Mars Hill”, for the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper. I've written several books, with the next one--about Pluto--due out in March, 2018.
I am inspired not only by the wonders of the universe itself, but by different people, many that I've never met, others that I've known. One of these was my high school Earth Science teacher, Mr. Leget. William A. Ward once wrote, The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. Mr. Leget was a great teacher who inspired me and a whole bunch of others. When the time came for me to start thinking about college, the only one to which I applied was Marietta College because that's where Mr. Leget had gone.
Inspired by Space, Sports, Science
The Flagstaff Business News highlighted me in its March 23, 2018 edition:
Step into Kevin Schindler’s office and you get a sample of what he loves and where he’s been. There is the shark tooth from Florida, the hubcap from one of the tires in Lowell Observatory’s historic Clark Telescope dome, and the bucket of baseballs collected from spring training.
See here for the rest of the story.
Fossil Crab Pseudoachelous schindleri
Take a look at the description of Pseuodachelous schindleri, from the Miocene of Jamaica, on page 188 here. This goes back to my previous life in the world of paleontology with my good friend, Roger Portell, who continues to be a major force in collecting and documenting the fossil record of the Caribbean region and beyond.
Check out Asteroid 23739 Kevin and where it is now located. It's a main-belt asteroid discovered by the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search (LONEOS) on May 18, 1998.
For a detailed listing of publications and other activities, see my cv below.