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Amanda L. Allison, M.A.S.

Amanda L. Allison, M.A.S. — Adjunct Professor

"If I want anyone to learn, they have to know that I care for them as a person and that I am passionate about what I do. Everything naturally falls into place if you teach by those rules."

Degrees Held:

  • M.A.S. (Summa Cum Laude) specializing in Human Factors in Aviation/Aerospace – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • BAAS with Space Science minor – Lamar University
  • AAS in Diagnostic Medical Sonography – Lamar Institute of Technology

Department: Earth & Space Sciences

Career highlights:
Served as a course developer for several online courses, including Space Science, Space Exploration, Remote Sensing, Extraterrestrial Life, and Microgravity. Previously worked in the medical field for eight years in several specializations, including ultrasound. Assisted in the Earth & Space Resource Lab with planetary and space science payloads and supported projects such as NASA Lunar Soil Studies using Neutral Mass Spectrometry, Ultra High Vacuum chamber, and CO2 laser equipment.

In which online degree program(s) do you teach?
Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Which classes do you teach online?
Space Science
Space Exploration
Remote Sensing

When did you start teaching?
May 2013.

What's the best advice that you have ever received?
Always be the best student in your class!

What's the best advice that you could give your students?
We all go through difficult times and experience stress, so when dealing with your college work and professors, good communication and hard work are key in having a successful college career. Remember what you are here for and don't give up because you never know what doors may open for you along the way!

What is the one book you think everyone should read?
I'm not much of a reader for personal pleasure unless it's a scientific article or document, but if I had to choose... anything by Stephen Hawking or Michio Kaku, though I'm more of a documentary type of gal.

What qualities make someone particularly successful when teaching science?
I teach space science, and it's one of the most fascinating subjects to me personally. I know that an endless curiosity to know more and a real love and passion for the subject material is what drives me. I also believe in being understanding, kind, relatable, and in treating my students with the utmost respect. After all, if I want anyone to learn, they have to know that I care for them as a person and that I am passionate about what I do. Everything naturally falls into place if you teach by those rules.

Tell us something your students may not know about you.
As an undergrad, I assisted in the design and build of NASA Reduced Gravity Flight experiments. I was the team leader for three different teams with differing proposals for experiments for NASA's Reduced Gravity Flight Program. My teams' experiment was “CRAW” – Crawfish Response and Adaptability in Weightlessness. We chose crawfish because they could be a good food source for a colony in space as they are easy to raise and harvest, provide a good source of protein and minerals and are very tasty. Since the vestibular system in a crawfish is much like that of a human, and they thrive in a neutral buoyancy environment which is very similar to microgravity, we wanted to see if we could manipulate their movements with the stimulation of different frequencies of sound. This would help us to understand if they would really be a viable source of food in space, and if they could handle a microgravity environment. In 2010, all three teams won under my lead, and we were supposed to fly on NASA's Vomit Comet. You fly in a KC-135 over the Gulf of Mexico, do 35 parabolas and get to experience weightlessness while running your experiment. Unfortunately, our flight week was canceled due to funding—but we still won, and it was an amazing experience!

Links to multimedia:
Lamar University Clean Room for 25 watt CO2 laser, built by us as students

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