Dr. Barker recently retired from NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office at the Johnson Space Center. He was part of the measurements group which has the responsibility to characterize the near earth orbital environment by optical techniques.
He obtained a B.S. in Physics from New Mexico State, followed by a M.A. in Astronomy from the University of Kansas. He completed his Ph.D program in Astrophysics at the University of Texas.
As part of the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory staff, he effectively grew up with the space age and exploration of our solar system. His research on planetary atmospheres and surfaces has been the subject of 107 referenced publications and 110 abstracts or presentations. As Discipline Scientist for the Planetary Astronomy program at NASA headquarters, he managed approximately 100 peer-reviewed research programs including joint programs with the NSF on Comet Shoemaker-Levy’s impact into Jupiter’s atmosphere and on Comet Hale-Bopp.
During the past six years he has co-authored over 30 papers and presentations related to observing orbital debris. He continues to be a consultant to NASA while living in Santa Fe with his wife Ann. He enjoys fly fishing, golf, and his eleven grandchildren.
Chair, Strategic Planning & Governance Committee; Member, Executive Committee; Member, HOS Review Committee