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Jim Bedient - Biography

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Jim Bedient has been employed by the Federal Aviation Administration for nearly seventeen years as an air traffic controller. He has worked as a controller, operations supervisor and traffic management coordinator at the Dayton, Ohio air traffic control tower; the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center; the Air Traffic Control System Command Center in Washington, DC; and is currently a radar controller at the Honolulu Control Facility at Honolulu International Airport. He is also a lecturer in the Commercial Aviation program at Honolulu Community College.

As far back as he can remember, Jim has been interested in astronomy. As a teenager, his imagination was sparked by the appearance of Comet Bennett in 1970, and he has actively observed the heavens since then. His primary interests are observing variable stars and meteors; in recent years he has become more interested in analysis as well as data gathering, and he has contributed to several publications. His observations may be seen in a number of recent IAU Circulars. He is a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers and the International Meteor Organization. Almost any clear night will find Jim outside under the stars.

Jim has an Associate in Science degree, and is currently working on completing a Bachelor's degree. He hopes to pursue graduate studies in astronomy or space science, and, after retirement from the FAA, plans on seeking employment in some aspect of astronomy or space: education, telescope operation, or spacecraft operations.

The opportunity to support TOPS dovetails with another of Jim's interests, public education. With two daughters in the public school system, he feels he has even more of a vested interest than many in helping ensure quality science education is available in the system. Jim also serves as co-chair of Makalapa Elementary School's School-Community Based Management council, and is frequently seen volunteering his time on the Makalapa campus.

Last Updated on April 16, 2001

Karen Meech, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii