Tyler Nordgren

Associate Professor of Physics, University of Redlands
Dr. Tyler Nordgren

Cover of Stars Above, Earth Below by Tyler Nordgren

Dr. Tyler Nordgren is an astronomer and Professor of Astronomy at the University of Redlands in California.

Tyler grew up outside of Anchorage, Alaska but earned his Ph.D in Astronomy from Cornell University in New York. At Cornell, he used some of the largest telescopes on Earth where he measured the size of dark matter halos around spiral galaxies. As a post-doctoral researcher at the U.S. Naval Observatory he helped construct the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer, one of a new generation of telescopes that allows astronomers to observe the size and shape of distant stars with unprecedented resolution. At the NPOI, Tyler worked to directly observe the diameters of such household stars as Pollux and Polaris and the pulsating atmospheres of Cepheid variable stars.

Since 2001 Tyler has been at the University of Redlands, a small, private liberal arts college in southern California, where he has developed new and innovative public outreach opportunities for scientists and students. In 2004 he was part of small team of seven astronomers and artists who converted the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Rover camera calibration targets into functioning sundials and saw them land safely in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum on Mars.

Since 2005 he has been a member of the National Park Service Night Sky Team dedicated to helping monitor and protect the dark night sky above America’s national parks. In 2007 Tyler spent a full year traveling through the national parks working with rangers, scientists, and park visitors to better understand the world of astronomy visible every day and night in the nation’s parks. Since becoming an astronomer, Dr. Nordgren’s science and outreach activities have taken him from the Hopi Reservation to the downtown streets of Rome while his artwork has been on display in galleries in Maine and on the surface of Mars.