The Mount Lemmon SkyCenter seeks to strengthen interest in science and astronomy through premium educational and public outreach experiences. We boast a team of knowledgeable, enthusiastic and skilled staff, presenters and volunteers who pride themselves on delivering world-class experiences for visitors of all ages.  Our program leaders generally have day jobs and are "moonlighting" at the SkyCenter because they love to share their own sense of wonder and excitement that can be explored through the space sciences.  Come check us out!

The SkyCenter is always looking for new staff and volunteers.  For more information, feel free to reach out using the contact information below.


Vannessa Gressieux, Program Coordinator and Program Leader

In addition to her administrative role at the SkyCenter, Vannessa is an active part of the Tucson science communication and outreach community, serving as a NASA JPL Solar System Ambassador and an OSIRIS-REx Ambassador. Vannessa has worked at the SkyCenter for 6+ years and enjoys sharing the science and wonder of the night skies with people of all ages. Originally from the East Coast, Vannessa fell in love with the dark skies of the Western US and appreciates the ability to see the milky way in the night sky.  Vannessa encourages everyone to look up!

Travis Deyoe, Outreach Supervisor and Program Leader

Travis began working for SkyCenter while studying astronomy at the UA.  He graduated in May 2015 and has recently taken on an increased role in leading outreach programs. While a student, he worked for the Flandrau Science Center as a Planetarium Operator and a Telescope Operator at Steward Observatory's 61-inch Kuiper Telescope on top of Mount Bigelow.  At the Kuiper Telescope, he aided Dr. Betsy Green in research for exoplanets, supernovae, and sub-dwarf B and O stars.  Travis enjoys taking astrophotography through the SkyCenter Telescopes as well as his own equipment.  In addition to Astronomy, Travis enjoys working in community theater.

Program Leaders

Alessandro Cavallaro

Alessandro is an Engineer at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), working on Adaptive Optics systems. Originally from Italy, Alessandro studied in Electrical Engineering and earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering. Alessandro is enthusiastic about his work as a presenter and is an accomplished night sky photographer.  He loves to talk about science and astronomy (and being Italian, food, of course!). His favorite astronomical memories are solar eclipses and... the first time he saw Saturn from the SkyCenter telescopes!

Amy Oliver

Amy C. Oliver is the Visitor & Science Center Manager at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, home to the MMT Observatory, and the Public Affairs Officer for the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. In addition to making astrophysics more publicly accessible through these avenues, Amy is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and OSIRIS-REx Ambassador. She maintains the online science educator persona, Nerdy Astronomer. She previously worked for the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City, UT, and in public affairs for large space and satellite technology organizations. Amy has been telling the stories of constellations since she was five years old and comes from a family of astrophotographers, astronomers, and scientists. Outside of all that science stuff, Amy enjoys hanging out with her two gigantic cats and is an avid nature photographer.

Gustavo Rahmer

Gustavo Rahmer has more than 25 years of experience in technology research and development for astronomy. He is an electronics engineer with a master's in Imaging Science from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is currently the Senior Instrumentation Engineer for the Giant Magellan Telescope, under construction in northern Chile. Previously he has worked at NOIRlab, the European Southern Observatory (in Germany and Chile), Caltech, and the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory at the University of Arizona. Gustavo was born and raised in Chile, host to many of the world's largest astronomical observatories. These facilities are both in operation and under construction due to the clarity and darkness of the night sky in the Atacama Desert. 

Jeronimo Cruz

Jeronimo enjoys sharing his passion for astronomy and science. He has been involved in public outreach for 15 years. He has worked for the University of Arizona Flandrau Planetarium, Kitt Peak National Observatory, Stellar Vision Science and Astronomy Shop, Sky Bar, and as an astronomy independent contractor building private astronomical observatories. He serves as an Electrician working for the Tucson local 570 IBEW union. His interests include hiking, stunt kite and parafoil flying, birding, and classical guitar playing.  

Jesus Gonzalez

Jesus is a Software as a Service (SaaS) Project Manager daily and an Amateur Astronomer, Astrophotographer, and Citizen Scientist by night. He serves as a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and enjoys contributing to ongoing astronomical research, having more than 3,000 classifications/contributions to various Citizen Science projects. You may also see him on social media platforms as Astronomyamigo, where he shares his passion for astronomy.  The enthusiasm Jesus brings to leading programs at SkyCenter is infectious.

Justin Klingele

Justin is an undergraduate at the University of Arizona hailing from Washington State. He is working towards a BS in Astronomy and Mathematics with minors in Arabic and Astrobiology. He also serves as the equipment manager of the UA Astronomy Club and is involved in ongoing research at Steward Observatory. His hobbies include hiking and skateboarding.

Karla Paredes Aguilar

Karla is an undergraduate at the University of Arizona majoring in Astronomy with a minor in Educational Psychology. She has a passion for the cosmos and loves sharing it with anyone willing to listen. Karla is currently a UA mentor for the Imagine Your STEM Future program and an active volunteer for AstroCharlas, the first astronomy public talk series in Spanish at the University of Arizona.

Megan Stanley Myers

Megan has loved the night sky since childhood. Her dream of becoming an astronomer came true (almost) in 2017 when she began working for Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered, as a public programs educator. Megan has 6 astronomical tattoos, loves sharing the wonder of space science with any living creature, and runs at high altitudes for fun. Her favorite object in the night sky is M13.

Michael Cox

Michael has worked as a professional photographer for over 10 years and is currently finishing his BFA in Studio Art at the University of Arizona. He is an avid amateur astronomer, meteorite collector, and Air Force Veteran. In the Air Force he served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician where he was stationed in Germany, South Korea, and Guam. Michael also works as an instructional assistant in the photography lab at Pima Community College, and he is always happy to help teach more about the night sky.

Tommy Salanski

Tommy works with Steward Observatory's Engineering and Technical Services team on projects related to the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the Magellan Telescopes. He enjoys stargazing, brewing, playing guitar, watching weird movies, and listening to weirder music. Tommy has a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the UA and is an Arizona native.  His favorite celestial objects are exoplanets, solar system planets, and planetary nebula.

Tracie Beuden

Tracie has a lifelong love of astronomy and the night sky. She has worked in education outreach for the general public and K-12 schools for the past ten years. She holds an AS in Physics from Eastern Arizona College, where she graduated with honors and received awards in physics and chemistry. She was an Mt. Graham International Observatory docent for six years, home of the Large Binocular Telescope, the world's largest optical and infrared telescope. Over the years, she has had the privilege of working alongside teachers to help build and present STEM curriculum in the classroom and for science camps throughout southern Arizona.

Rob Bovill

Rob has been a Program Leader at the SkyCenter since 2012, running astronomy outreach programs for over ten years.  He currently works on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) as the Telescope & Site Software Test Engineer, where he is responsible for testing the software to control the telescope.  Rob graduated from the University of Maine in 2003 with a BS in Physics.  He moved to Tucson that same summer to attend the Graduate School of Physics at the University of Arizona.  He left two years later to work on the UA-led NASA Phoenix Mars Lander Mission, where he worked on the Payload Interoperability Testbed as a Test Engineer.  In addition to his work, Rob enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Roswell “Roz” Roberts

Roz is an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona. He is studying for his BS in Astronomy, Physics, and Mathematics and has always been interested in space and physical sciences. He is the current Outreach Coordinator for the UA’s Astronomy Club and operates the Raymond E White 21” telescope at Steward Observatory, doing public outreach.

Ulisses Valenzuela

Ulisses is an undergraduate at the University of Arizona majoring in Astronomy and Computer Science. He is passionate about Astronomy and science in general and has been involved in science outreach since high school. Previously he was involved in 4-H as a mentor for middle school students encouraging them to pursue STEM education. He is excited for what the future holds, and it all starts with reaching out to guests at the SkyCenter.

Vanessa Thomas

Since high school, Vanessa has shared her love of science with others at science museums, planetariums, public star parties, and various events. She studied science journalism and planetary science at MIT and is an amateur astronomer. Vanessa is also a science writer and has written for Astronomy Magazine and Sky & Telescope and worked as a science writer for the Hubble Space Telescope project for nearly 15 years on the East Coast before moving to Tucson to join the communications team at NSF's NOIRLab. She is addicted to solar eclipses, roller coasters, baseball, and traveling.

Will Clodfelder

Will is a recent graduate from the University of Arizona. He majored in Astronomy and minored in Physics and Mathematics. Having always loved public outreach for Astronomy, Will founded an Astronomy club at his high school in Illinois.  In 2018, Celestron invited Will to be a guest speaker at the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF). He is excited to continue to share his passion with guests at the SkyCenter. Will currently works as a high school Physics teacher in the Tucson area.


Dr. Alan Strauss

Barry Boyce

Dale Cupp
Paul Delligatti
Jerry Farrar
Bill Gates
J. D. Metzger