Get to Know a Staff Scientist: Eric Christensen

Staff Scientist Eric Christensen is Director of the Catalina Sky Survey for near-Earth objects. He returned to LPL in 2012 after a 5-year stay in Chile at the Gemini South Observatory, where he was part of the science operations group responsible for daytime and nighttime operations of the telescope and instruments. Prior to moving to Chile, he worked as an observer and software developer for CSS for four years. In addition to near-Earth asteroid discovery and follow-up, Eric's interests include survey modeling and optimization, observatory operations, instrument commissioning, and efficient software design. He found many similarities between asteroid surveying and meteorite hunting during multiple expeditions to the Atacama Desert, which resulted in the recovery of several achondrites and carbonaceous chondrites, as well as many ordinary chondrites. Eric holds a BFA from the University of Arizona, with a concentration in ceramic sculpture.