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Cool Jobs 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Imagine building a roller coaster or solving a heinous crime.

Imagine exploring the surface of Mars or the bottom of the ocean.

This multi-media event for curious minds of all ages invited our audience to meet scientists with some of the coolest jobs in the world — from crime scene investigator and space explorer to oceanographer and Disney Imagineer.


Bill WeirJournalist

Bill Weir is an award-winning broadcast journalist, anchor and special correspondent for CNN. With a focus on our connected planet, he created and hosted The Wonder List with Bill Weir.

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Christopher McKayAstrobiologist

Chris McKay is a research scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center. His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved in planning for future Mars missions including human exploration.

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Peter DiaczukForensic Scientist

Peter Diaczuk is a leading authority in forensics and an expert witness on firearms, trace evidence, and crime scene reconstruction. He has performed research on topics as diverse as underwater fingerprints, blood spatter patterns from gunshot wounds, and bullets ricochetting from different surfaces.

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Ellen PragerMarine biologist

Ellen Prager is a marine biologist, author and chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Aquarius Undersea Laboratory in Key Largo, Florida. She is the Chairman of the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel for the federal government and an author of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy’s 2004 report to Congress and the President.

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Laurie SantosCognitive Psychologist

Laurie Santos is a cognitive psychologist who studies monkeys’ capacity for learning and the evolution of the human mind. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology and director of the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at Yale University and was named one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10” for 2007.

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Ben SchweglerEngineer

Ben Schwegler is Walt Disney Imagineering R&D’s chief scientist, and is particularly interested in the development of sustainable engineering techniques. He was instrumental in the creation of the most energy efficient theme park ever built as well as a new generation of environmentally friendly fireworks.

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