The Team Behind Dark Universe

Part of the Dark Universe exhibition.

Space Show Team Reviews in the Dome Interior
© AMNH/D. Finnin

Dark Universe Curator Mordecai-Mark Mac Low

Dark Universe Mordecai Mac Low Headshot

Mordecai-Mark Mac Low is curator in the Department of Astrophysics, where his work focuses on understanding the formation of planets, stars, and galaxies and the structure of the interstellar gas. He is also professor at the Museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School and an adjunct professor at Columbia University as well as a research professor at Drexel University and vice-chair of the federal Astronomy & Astrophysics Advisory Committee. In addition to being the curator for Dark Universe, he was lead curator on the Space Show Journey to the Stars and contributed simulations to two earlier Space Shows. Before joining the Museum in 1999, Mac Low was a scientist at the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany, and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Chicago and at NASA Ames Research Center. Mac Low received an A.B. in physics from Princeton University in 1983, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1985 and 1989, respectively. 

Dark Universe Curator Mordecai-Mark Mac Low explains what we know about dark matter—and what physicists are still working to understand.


Dark Universe Director Carter Emmart

Dark Universe Carter Emmart headshot

Carter Emmart, the Museum's director of astrovisualization, has been involved in all five of the Museum’s Space Shows, four of which are now playing in planetariums all over the world. Emmart was one of the original Museum team members on the NASA-funded Digital Galaxy Project that helped redefine how a planetarium theater can present science to the public through immersive data visualization. Emmart directs the in-house Space Show production at the Museum and has collaborated with visualization teams at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the San Diego Supercomputer Center. Emmart, who previously worked at NASA Ames Research Center and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, received his B.A. in geophysics from the University of Colorado, where he was an organizer of the Case for Mars Conference series. In May 2006, Emmart received an honorary Ph.D. from Linköping University in Sweden, in part for advising a graduate intern program hosted at the Museum that developed the means for planetariums and classrooms worldwide to simultaneously interact within the Museum's Digital Universe 3D Atlas.


Dark Universe Producer Vivian Trakinski

Dark Universe Producer Vivian Trakinski

As the director of Science Bulletins, the Museum's current science exhibition and online program, Vivian Trakinski has overseen the production of more than 50 short documentaries about researchers working in all parts of the world, as well as an ongoing stream of Earth and space science visualizations. For the Museum, she also wrote and produced an updated program for the Rose Center for Earth and Space’s Hayden Big Bang Theater. Trakinski began her career at the Children's Television Workshop’s award-winning PBS science series “3-2-1 CONTACT” and has since gone on to write, direct, and produce media for a variety of audiences and venues. Her credits include broadcast specials for HBO and ABC News, multimedia programs for educational publishers such as Scholastic, Inc., Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, and Prentice Hall, and medical education programing funded by the Human Genome Project on the ethics of genetic testing. Her work has been recognized by the American Association of Museums, NSF Visualization Challenge, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, HD Fest, the Explorer’s Club, and Banff New Media Institute, among others. She joined the Museum in 1999 and received her B.A. from Wesleyan University. 

Dark Universe Executive Producer Rosamond Kinzler

Dark Universe Ro Kinzler Headshot

Rosamond Kinzler is senior director of science education and director of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education and Technology (NSCLET) at the Museum. Before joining the Museum’s Education Division, Rosamond Kinzler’s research career involved investigating planetary differentiation through melting at Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory and in the Museum’s Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. In 1999, Kinzler co-curated the Museum’s David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth and joined NCSLET, which creates a full spectrum of science education products that integrate authentic science with standards-based curriculum design and innovative use of technology. In 2010, Kinzler assumed senior management of the Gottesman Center for Science Teaching and Learning. Kinzler also is co-director and faculty member of the Museum’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. She received her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dark Universe Writer Timothy Ferris

Timothy Ferris is the author of a dozen books, among them Seeing in the Dark, The Whole Shebang, and Coming of Age in the Milky Way, which was translated into 15 languages and named by The New York Times as among the leading books published in the 20th century. A former newspaper reporter and editor of Rolling Stone magazine, he has written over 200 articles and essays for publications including The New Yorker, National Geographic, and the The New York Review of Books. His three documentary films have been seen by more than 20 million viewers worldwide. Ferris produced the Voyager phonograph record, launched abroad the twin Voyager interstellar spacecraft currently exiting the solar system. He has received the American Institute of Physics prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he is currently an emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dark Universe Composer Robert Miller

Robert Miller is a prolific composer of film, concert, and commercial music. His distinctive style has made its mark on over 2,000 commercials, a growing body of film scores, and works for concert and the stage. Over the years, his talent and passion have garnered him six CLIO awards, an AICP award, and three Emmy nominations, and his scores have appeared in several prominent Super Bowl commercials. His film work includes the Lionsgate/Weinstein company release Teeth; the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Why We Fight; and the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival Best Feature winner Red Doors. Miller is also a longtime collaborator with the American Museum of Natural History. He has composed orchestral scores for four Space Shows and the Hayden Planetarium's Big Bang presentation currently on view.Miller was formally trained at the Mannes College of Music in New York City and studied privately with American Masters William Schuman, Aaron Copland, and Edgar Grana. He was the composer-in-residence with the New York-based Jupiter Symphony from 1996-1999.