Leslie F. Bleamaster III, Ph.D.
- Science Facilities Manager , Center for the Sciences and Innovation
I grew up right here in San Antonio and she draws me back every time I leave. I graduated from Douglas MacArthur High School and then immediately enlisted in the Navy to serve as a SEAL before returning to San Antonio to attend Trinity. Swimming, running track, getting married (Jana, Biology ’98), and having our first son (Caden) were all great distractions from my studies, but with the support of Trinity faculty and coaches I managed to complete my B.S. in Geosciences.
With aspirations of becoming an astronaut, I went on to Southern Methodist University to obtain my Ph.D. in Geology (‘03) with a focus on remote sensing of planetary systems. I have been actively involved in the NASA / US Geological Survey’s planetary mapping program. I served as the chair of the Planetary Geologic Mapping Committee for four years and have published several geologic maps of Venus and Mars. I was named a NASA Early Career Fellow in 2007.
After a postdoc at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, AZ my family and I (including two new additions – Sean and Bode) returned once again to S.A. in 2006. I started teaching in the Geosciences department in 2007 and now act as a Part-time Professor occasionally teaching Planetary Geology and team-teaching the interdisciplinary Iceland course with Maria Paganelli and Diane Smith. Most of my time is spent managing the Center for Sciences and Innovation (CSI) and facilitating the faculty’s teaching and research roles.
Ph.D. in Geology, Southern Methodist University
B.S. in Geosciences, Trinity University
Les is also passionate about K-12 education. With a team of planetary scientists and education specialists from the Planetary Science Institute, Les and company, have developed a series of space-themed elementary- and middle-school teacher development workshops. These workshops aim to supply content knowledge, improve conceptual understanding, instill greater scientific confidence, increase understanding of how scientific research is conducted, and provide strategies to develop more positive attitudes towards science and science education. These teachers can then be better prepared to excite and encourage the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math students.
In addition, Les makes several visits a year to primary and secondary classrooms sharing a variety of subjects with students including rocks, the solar system, climate, and Antartica.