Joel Harris is a working "rocket scientist" at Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, in Canoga Park, CA where he is a Staff Engineer/Scientist and a risk management Subject Matter Expert for the RS68 rocket engine program.Joel is also an adjunct professor at DeVry University's Sherman Oaks campus, where he teaches undergraduate classes in electronics theory, RF communications, and programming logic. He is also a member of DeVry's National Alumni Board, and is a distinguished alumnus of that university....He is a graduate of the LMU Systems Engineering program, where he earned his M.S. degree in 2008. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in EET from DeVry University (1997), as well as Business Administration and MBA degrees from U.S.C. (1972 and 1973, respectively).Joel is a veteran of 17 total solar eclipses, having pursued/chased these events starting back in 1973, as part of a scientific investigation team working under the late, great American solar astronomer, Donald Menzel, of Harvard Observatory. He was part of an expedition mounted by Educational Expeditions International, now Earthwatch Institute. For over two weeks, that team lived in the Sahara Desert, in the nation of Mauritania, preparing for the nearly 7 minute eclipse that occurred on 30 June that year.He is the lead author, along with Richard Talcott of Astronomy magazine, of "Chasing the Shadow -- An Observer's Guide to Eclipses", published by Kalmbach Publishers in 1994.Most recently, Joel led a group of nearly 100 amateur and professional astronomers to the remote venue of Easter Island, where they successfully observed a nearly 5 minute total eclipse on 11 July 2010.The next total solar eclipse in his sights will take him to the Great Barrier Reef in Northeastern Australia, to observe the total eclipse there on 14 August of this year.A native Californian, Joel lives in Westlake Village with his wife Patti, his step daughter Kelly, and their terrier-mix puppy "Rocket", along with Joel's two cats, Tabitha and Cassiopeia. For more information on Joel: www.twilighttours.netAbout TEDx: x=independently organized eventIn the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self- organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. For information: www.ted.com/tedxTEDxConejoUnder the theme "Together," the 3rd Edition of TEDxConejo explores the always fascinating, often inspiring, occasionally surprising and sometimes vexing interconnectedness of our world.Now in its 3rd year and produced in association with the Conejo Valley Unified School District, TEDxConejo is developing into an exciting community of thinkers, and doers, interested and interesting people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year hundreds gather for a day of stimulating short talks and engaging discussion. The program is as diverse as the interests of the audience. More information at tedxconejo.com
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