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Ms. Lisabeth Kissner


I have held various adjunct positions for the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh Department of Physics since September 1995. Over years I have taught AST 101 Lab, AST 102, AST 116 and EDU 391. In addition to my classroom responsibilities, I held the position of Associate Director of the Northcountry Planetarium from September 1999 to August 2002. During this period I shared administrative responsibilities for the newly installed educational planetarium facility as well as acting as a programmer and presenter for on-campus, elementary school and general public shows.

During the fall 2003 semester, I was approached by a number of students who expressed an interest in establishing an astronomy club, and they inquired whether I would act as their faculty sponsor. To date, the club, now known as the Galilean Society, has formalized its bylaws and has Student Association recognition. During the 2003-2004 academic year the club attended several campus functions, assisted in the planetarium, sponsored a sci-fi movie series, and hosted two community celestial observations; a meteor & star viewing party at Point au Roche State Park, and a lunar eclipse viewing at the Twin Valleys Educational Center.

In December of 2000 I received my first notification from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California that I had been selected as a Solar System Ambassador, and have held this annually renewed appointment ever since. JPL is the National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s lead field center for the robotic exploration of our Solar System, and the ambassadors program was designed to act as an interface between the space exploration community and school students as well as the general public at large. As an ambassador, I annually coordinate and conduct four events or programs which feature information on either JPL’s and/or NASA’s space exploration missions. Once my SSA duties were fulfilled by incorporating imagery, materials and information concerning the recent Stardust Mission into my astronomy lectures.

Outside of the classroom I continue to take pleasure in trying my hand at planetarium script writing. One idea even came to fruition when in the spring 2004 semester I co-produced and presented, with Alia Davis and Dr. Glenn Myer, an original production entitled The Martian Mystique at the Northcountry Planetarium. The one-hour program investigated the roots of humanity’s near obsession with the red planet and summarized the history of Mars exploration.

When I take the time to come out of the dark of the planetarium or look down from the night sky, I spend much of my spare time and holidays gardening, cooking or traveling with my husband. We both enjoy designing perennial flower and organic vegetable beds as well as snorkeling in warm tropical waters, but hey, who wouldn’t...


  • M.A.L.S. in Administration, Minor in Astronomy & Education, SUNY Plattsburgh, 2003
  • B.S. in Geology, Minor in Archaeology, SUNY Plattsburgh, 1993

Teaching Areas

  • Astronomy
    • AST 101 Lab
    • AST 102
    • AST 116
  • EDU 391

Professional Appointments

  • Adjunct Lecturer, SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Physics, 1995–present
  • Solar System Ambassador, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), 2000–present
  • Associate Director, Northcountry Planetarium, 1999–2002
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