Christopher Impey

Chris Impey is a University Distinguished Professor. For 17 years he was Deputy Head of the Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona, and he is currently Associate Dean of the College of Science. He has over 180 refereed publications and 65 conference proceedings in astronomy, and 60 publications on educational topics. His work has been supported by $20 million in grants from NASA and the NSF. As a professor, he has won eleven teaching awards, and has been heavily involved in curriculum and instructional technology development. He has mentored 30 graduate students and 230 undergraduates. Chris Impey is a past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society. He has also been an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, and Carnegie Council on Teaching’s Arizona Professor of the Year. He was a co-chair of the Education and Public Outreach Study Group for the 2010 Decadal Survey of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009 he was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and in 2014 he was the first astronomer named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Chris Impey gives 20 public talks a year, to audiences as large as 5000 and as varied as NASA engineers, first graders, and judges of the Ninth Circuit Court. For a decade, he has traveled to India to teach Buddhist monks in a program started by the Dalai Lama. He designed and led 3 tours for donors and alumni of landmarks of science and culture: “Visiting Galileo’s Italy,” “Exploring Chile: Earth and Sky,” and “Britain in the Golden Age of Science.” He has written over forty popular articles on cosmology and astrobiology and co-authored two introductory textbooks. His has published seven trade science books: The Living Cosmos (2007, Random House), How It Ends (2010, W.W. Norton), How It Began (2012, W.W. Norton), Talking About Life (2010, Cambridge), Dreams of Other Worlds (2013, Princeton), Humble Before the Void (2014, Templeton), and Beyond (2015, W.W. Norton). His first novel, Shadow World, was published in 2013. His new book for Norton, due out in October 2018, is Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes. His “Teach Astronomy” web site has had over 1.5 million unique visitors, and his YouTube lectures and videos have over half a million views. Over 130,000 adults from 160 countries have enrolled in his two Massive Open Online Classes (MOOCs).

Associate Dean
University of Arizona
Tucson, United States
Focus area: Space, Astronomy, STEAM, Pedagogy, Education