Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger was born and raised along the Front Range of Colorado. A scholar athlete, she ran cross-country and track for Whitman College, in Walla Walla, WA, and graduated with honors and a degree in Geology. After attending Whitman College, she received her teaching certification from Central Washington University, and she went on to teach for five years at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, WA. In addition to teaching, she coached cross country and Science Olympiad.
In June of 2004, she joined NASA and the Astronaut Corps. After several years of training, she was assigned to the STS-131 crew, an International Space Station (ISS) resupply mission, and flew as Mission Specialist 2 (also known as the flight engineer). She also served as a robotic arm operator, the Intra-vehicular crew member (the inside coordinator of the spacewalks), and a transfer crew member (helping move six tons of hardware and equipment). The mission lasted fifteen days.
During June of 2012, Dottie commanded the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO) in the Aquarius Reef Habitat off the Florida coast. The underwater mission sought to develop techniques for working at a near earth asteroid, while working under a 100-second time delay.
In June of 2014, Dottie retired from the Astronaut Corps and returned to the Pacific Northwest with her family. She is finishing her MS in geology at the University of Washington, and she continues to speak and promote Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education.
Michelle Lucas spent 10+ years working at NASA's Johnson Space Center. First as part of the International Space Station (ISS) Payload Safety Review Panel (PSRP) and then in the Mission Operations Directorate as a Flight Controller in ISS Mission Control and as a Astronaut Instructor in the ISS Daily Operations Group. Additionally she worked with each of the International Partners (European Space Agency – ESA, Japanese Space Agency – JAXA and the Russian Space Agency) in the field of Daily Operations, Flight Controller and Instructor Training. Michelle was part of the Core NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) team for 9 missions where astronauts would carry out analog space missions underwater in the Aquarius habitat. Along the way, Michelle found she has a passion for launching the next generation's dreams and ambitions. Her passion for inspiring students led to extensive work with other organizations in STEM outreach so she founded the non-profit Higher Orbits to use space to excite and inspire students about STEM, Leadership, Teamwork and Communication. Michelle is proud to be a Space Camp Alum and member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame. She believes that collaboration in space and STEM is the key to the stars! Space Inspires!
John started his career in radio as a part-timer at several stations in Raleigh, NC while in high school and college. His first fulltime job took him to Myrtle Beach, SC, where in 1979, he went through the preparations for and coverage of Hurricane David as it raked the Grand Strand. That spurred his interest in severe weather and disaster preparedness. He worked as an on-air consultant, with CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and numerous local TV affiliates during hurricane season from 2002-2005 and was the on-camera weather conditions consultant for MSNBC’s coverage of the Space Shuttle’s Return to Flight mission in ’05. His passion for reporting accurate conditions and preparedness information from the field continues to be an important personal commitment at WeatherNation.
Jeff Herold has been teaching since 2000 and has taught everything from Kindergarten through 12th grade and community college. Currently, he teaches S.T.E.M. to 7th and 8th graders at Hillcrest Middle School in Glendale, Arizona. While not volunteering at local elementary schools at their science nights, he enjoys paragliding, attending professional development, and spending time with his family. His favorite student is his 6th grade son, Skyler. Jeff is the 2015 Arizona Air Force Association Teacher of the Year and 2015 Arizona Challenger Space Center Educator of the Year. Jeff is a member of The Mars Generation Student Space Ambassador Planning Committee and the Train Like a Martian Planning Committee. You can follow his S.T.E.M. adventures on Twitter @STEMJeff.