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Spaceward Bound Expedition: Australia 2009

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Stephen Joyce
Lab and Field Assistant
San Jose State University

I am a lab and field assistant in Sabine Rech’s environmental microbiology laboratory and an on-call lab assistant in Dr. William Murray’s pathogenic microbiology laboratory both at San Jose State University.  In the environmental microbiology laboratory I work under Elaine Bryant and help her in transforming DNA from dirt samples we collect during the Spaceward Bound expeditions into E. coli. We then culture the E. coli in broth and then extract and restrict the target plasmid for sequencing.  In the pathogenic microbiology laboratory I worked under Dr. Vasundhara Rangswamy and Dr. William Murray to isolate and identify pathogens from unknown samples before they are forwarded to the CDC.

I am a recent graduate of San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s of Science: Concentration in Microbiology and my goal is to become a high school biology teacher. This August, after Spaceward Bound Australia 2009, I plan to teach English in South Korea for one year. Upon my return, I plan to further my education by applying to the teacher credentialing program along with the Master’s program in Natural Science program at San Jose State University.

My hobbies are retrofitting and restoring classic cars with newer and cleaner propulsion technologies compared to the ancient carburetor fed gas-guzzling cast iron eight cylinder engine. Currently I am restoring a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS and retrofitting it with a 5.9 liter Cummins Diesel and a six-speed manual transmission. This diesel motor will run off of purely bio-diesel fuel refined from used vegetable cooking oils.  This will significantly reduce emissions, recycle waste vegetable oil and lower MY dependence on foreign fossil fuels.


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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: June 2009
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe