Brent Studer grew up under the very dark skies of Clear Lake, Iowa, and some of his earliest memories are of watching the Gemini and Apollo space missions on television and making flash cards to teach himself the constellations. He also was an avid fan of the original Star Trek series when he discovered it in reruns during elementary school. After attending North Iowa Area Community College, he transferred to the University of Iowa and eventually earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy and then a Master of Science in Astronomy. During that time he had the great fortune to take General Astronomy 1 as well as a course in Newtonian mechanics from legendary space physicist James Van Allen.
Brent has taught astronomy at Kirkwood Community College since 1990 and has also worked as a science coordinator on several large-scale education assessments, including The Nation’s Report Card and the Trends in International Math and Science Survey. In addition to his work at Kirkwood, he was the STEM/Assessment and Tutoring Specialist for The University of Iowa’s TRiO Upward Bound Project for 13 years. While with the Upward Bound Project, Brent worked with low-income and potentially first-generation college students throughout their high school years as they prepared to pursue postsecondary education. After leaving Upward Bound, Brent began working with the College Board as Director, Science Assessment Development. His primary responsibilities involve the redesign and continued development of the SAT.
He has a wide range of interests and is proud that he can just as easily explain the origin of the 3K cosmic microwave background as quote the lyrics of Johnny Mercer and Lorenz Hart.