Get To Know Gemini! Janice Harvey

Get to Know Gemini is a new series of blog posts aimed to highlight the different careers, backgrounds, and types of people contributing to Gemini Observatory and its science.

Name:  Janice Harvey

What is your current position and at which telescope?

I have been working in the Public Information and Outreach (PIO) Department at Gemini North for 17 years, currently the Community Outreach & Education Programs Leader.

In four lines or less, explain what you do as part of the Gemini Observatory team?

I  manage and coordinate local community outreach for Gemini North, including the flagship Journey Through the Universe program. I also oversee all local outreach events, coordinate and facilitate presentations for the local community, attend and participate in community events. I assist and manage staff and interns in our PIO department.

How long have you worked for Gemini?

I have worked in the Gemini PIO department for 17 years. What a job!

What drew you to this job?

At the time I was hired, the objective of the position was to reach out to the community and provide educational opportunities in astronomy to both the public and the Department of Education. I have always been passionate about education and this was a natural fit for me.

What is the best part of your job?

You’ll often hear me tell others that I truly have the best job in the world. Having the opportunity to share the wonders of our universe with others is extremely fulfilling. I love the Journey Through the Universe program which brings astronomers/scientists/engineers into the classroom. The precious moments I have experienced over the years when a student has that aha moment – priceless!

Where are you originally from/where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. My mother was a twin and she and her brother exchanged kids as we grew up, so I lived many summers on the farm in Olpe, Kansas, population 546.

What skill do you think is most important to know for your job?

By far, the most important skill is learning how to communicate with others in the most effective way.

Why is astronomy important?

It is my belief that we all have a personal responsibility to make good decisions for the betterment of all.   Astronomy provides us with a clearer understanding of our past, present and future. And, if we know there is even a faint possibility of life beyond earth, let’s find out!

What is your favorite movie?

ET. I saw it at a drive-in and will remember that night forever!

What is the latest book you have read?

Currently reading a Man called Ove.

What three albums would you bring with you to a desert island?

1) R&B/Soul
2) Classical
3) Bruno Mars/Michael Jackson

What is one hobby of yours?

Taking care of my plants and orchids.   

Favorite beverage?

Martini on the rocks

Check back next month to learn more about the staff that help Gemini to explore the Universe and share its wonders!

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