Jim Paradise grew up on a farm in Nebraska where the nights were dark and the stars were bright. He read everything he could find on space, planets, stars, galaxies, and the universe. Jim bought his first telescope when he was 15 and especially loved meteor showers. He always hoped one day he would get a chance to participate in space exploration.
In 1981, a year after moving to Colorado, Jim landed a job in aerospace and started working on the Space Shuttle's Pyro Initiator Controllers (PIC) program. Because of that project, he was sent to Florida and witnessed the first launch of Challenger. Jim's dreams of working in Space Exploration were starting to come true.
Jim enrolled in the University of Colorado, and started pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. As his education progressed, he moved into increasingly challenging positions to his current job as Engineering and Science Manager. He has worked on many space exploration missions, including Galileo to Jupiter, Magellan to Venus, Cassini to Saturn, and Mars Observer to Mars, as well as both Atlas and Titan rockets.
Jim has a BS in Electrical Engineering, an MS in Systems Engineering, and is finishing his PhD in Interdisciplinary Engineering. He is an advocate for life-long learning and a strong proponent of STEM education careers and volunteerism. His specialty is giving talks on space exploration for events held at local venues. He is a regular guest lecturer at Colorado University and frequently visits local elementary, middle, and high schools, scout troops and civic clubs.
Past Events Hosted By This Ambassador:
Space Exploration Colorado Space Grant Consortium
Kindergarden Space Night at Franklin Elementary Franklin Elementary
Space Exploration Koelbel Public Library
Space Exploration Chaparral High School
Science Fair Roxborough Elementary School
Past Events Collaborated On By This Ambassador:
Curiosity Landing Event Denver Museum Nature & Science
Space Day Museum of Nature and Science
Space Day Denver Natural History & Science
Genesis Return to Earth Denver Museum of Nature & Science