Title: Cassini Science Advisor
Company: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Location: Pasadena, California, United States
Ellis D. Miner, PhD, Cassini Science Advisor at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in physics.
With more than 60 years of professional experience, Dr. Miner was the Cassini/Huygens science advisor at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1998 until his retirement in 2005. He has continued that role informally in retirement. Prior to obtaining his advisory role, he was the science manager for Cassini/Huygens from 1990 to 1998, the assistant project scientist for Voyager from 1977 to 1990, and a senior scientist from 1965 to 1977. Earlier in his career, he was a quality control analyst with Sperry Utah Company in 1961 and a missionary in northern Germany with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1957 to 1960.
Dr. Miner first pursued an education with Utah State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in physics in 1961. He continued his studies with Brigham Young University, earning a PhD in physics and astronomy, with emphasis on astrophysics and spectroscopy. He then joined the United States Army Signal Corps, serving from 1965 to 1967 and attaining the rank of captain. For his contributions to his community, he was twice awarded the Medal for Exceptional Science Achievement from NASA (1981 and 1986), as well as a Medal for Outstanding Leadership (1990).
Dr. Miner is the author of “Uranus: The Planet, Rings and Satellites,” published in 1990 (a second edition was published in 1998), “Neptune: The Planet, Rings and Satellites,” published in 2002 with co-author Randii R. Wessen, “Planetary Ring Systems,” published in 2007 with co-authors Randii R. Wessen and Jeffrey N Cuzzi, and numerous professional journal articles. Dr. Miner has also delivered more than 400 public lectures on astronomy and the planetary space program. He was a member of the American Astronomical Society and served from 2002 to 2005 as the Press Officer for its Division for Planetary Sciences. Dr. Miner also served as Co-Director of NASA’s Earth and Space Sciences Education and Public Outreach Program from 2000 until his retirement in 2005. He fondly recalls his infrared work on the Viking Mission to Mars as a career highlight, but considers raising his seven children to have been his greatest accomplishment. Moreover, Dr. Miner served 11 years as the Bishop of the Sunland Ward, La Crescenta California Stake, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and another seven years as First Counselor in the La Crescenta Stake Presidency. He and his wife, Beverly Allen Miner, are parents to Steven Boyd Miner, Marjorie Miner Williams, David Eric Miner, Jeffrey Allen Miner, Christine Miner Blake, Rebecca Miner Knudsen, and Laura Miner Wheeler; they are grandparents to 26 grandchildren and great-grandparents to five great-grandsons.
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