I got my BSc. in physics from the University of Edinburgh and my Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Maryland in 1971. I worked on the research staff at Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory until coming to Princeton in 1980. I worked on radio, millimeter wave and infrared observations of the interstellar medium, both in the Milky Way and other galaxies, in such areas as star formation, molecular cloud structure, the ISM in elliptical galaxies, mass loss from evolved stars, and galactic structure. Since about 1990, I worked on the construction of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. SDSS science I've worked on includes the discovery and characterization of field brown dwarfs, white dwarf stars and high-velocity stars.
My current projects include: a study of the variability of stellar activity in dwarf main sequence stars using SDSS spectra; characterizing star formation in the nearby low-mass-star forming Taurus Molecular Cloud based on SDSS imaging and spectroscopy and imaging in the seven bands of the Spitzer space telescope; the luminosity/mass function of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs, in particular identifying the division between stars and brown dwarfs; high-velocity stars in the Galactic halo; dwarf carbon stars, including the search for radial velocity companions; and an investigation into the ages of local subdwarf stars.
I'm also involved with SEEDS, an imaging search for extrasolar planets at the Subaru 8m telescope. I have taught introductory astronomy for science majors, courses on the interstellar medium, and am currently teaching AST 403, Stars and Star Formation. I'm a faculty fellow at Whitman College and advisor to some 20 undergraduate students. I also have a strong interest in community action, work with the Pace Center to teach college-credit courses in the NJ prison system, and am a faculty fellow in the Program on Law and Public Affairs.