Carolyn Collins Petersen is CEO of Loch Ness Productions.
She is an award-winning science writer with more than two dozen Loch Ness Productions shows to her credit and is responsible for show development, editing and writing contracts, and other outreach services for Loch Ness Productions clients. Carolyn has also written custom scripts for Evans & Sutherland Corporation, edited scripts for Sky-Skan, Inc., and created shows for major planetaria across the U.S.
Carolyn's most recent projects include writing a series of 32 short multimedia media pieces for Starmap, an iOS-based astronomy app for iPad and iPhone. Her latest book, released in July 2013 is Astronomy 101: From the Sun and Moon to Wormholes and Warp Drive, Key Theories, Discoveries, and Facts about the Universe published by Adams Media.
She wrote, narrated and co-produced the show Losing the Dark, a joint production with the International Dark-Sky Association. From 2007-2010, she wrote and co-produced a nine-part vodcast series titled Space Weather FX for a NASA-funded Loch Ness Productions-MIT Haystack Observatory project, as well as a 10-minute video program about the Mileura Widefield Array. In addition, Carolyn wrote and narrated a series of scripts for animations included with Seeker and TheSky, astronomy software programs created and produced by Software Bisque.
Carolyn currently serves as associate producer for AstroCast.TV, an online video magazine focused on astronomy and space science topics. She produces segments called Our Night Sky and The Astronomer's Universe on a monthly and bimonthly basis.
Carolyn was as Associate Editor of GeminiFocus from 2002-2012 published by Gemini Observatory. She has also written and edited material for the National Astronomy Observatory of Japan's Subaru Observatory in Hawai'i.
In 2010, Carolyn served as senior exhibit writer for NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's von Kármán Visitor's Center. This followed on the heels of a project with Cinnabar California, to write a climate change exhibit for the California Academy of Sciences. In 2005 and 2006, she worked as the senior science writer for the Griffith Observatory exhibits program, in conjunction with the Friends of the Observatory and New York City-based exhibit designers C&G Partners.
Carolyn has taught several workshops on planetarium script writing and science writing, including a four-week Winter Session class in 2006 at Williams College, Williamstown, MA, an April, 2011 symposium focused on fulldome production practices called "Cosmix" held at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL, and was honored to lead workshops for students and teachers three times at the University of Massachusetts annual Women in Science and Engineering Day.
Carolyn is an accomplished public speaker, and frequently appears on behalf of Smithsonian Travels on selected cruise ships. She has spoken before audiences in the U.S., Canada, South America, and Europe. She has made presentations on planetarium outreach at several symposia, including the semi-annual Communicating Astronomy to the Public meeetings held in Germany and Athens in 2005 and 2007 respectively, as well as the 2006 International Planetarium Society conference in Australia.
On the Web, Carolyn is proprietor of TheSpacewriter.com, a popular website that contains the Henrietta Leavitt Flat Screen Space Theater — the Web's first online planetarium show, and The Spacewriter's Ramblings, a blog about astronomy, science, and related subjects.
Carolyn has written or edited several other popular astronomy books, including Visions of the Cosmos, written with Dr. John C. Brandt and published in December 2003 by Cambridge University Press.
She was the lead author of the book "Hubble Vision," published in 1995, revised in 1998, published by Cambridge University Press, also co-written with Dr. John C. Brandt.
She co-edited (with J. Kelly Beatty and Andrew Chaikin) "The New Solar System," Fourth Edition, co-published by Sky Publishing Corporation and Cambridge University Press.
From 1997 through 2000, Carolyn served as Editor of Books & Products at Sky Publishing Corporation, as well as Editor of SkyWatch Magazine, and Associate Editor of Sky & Telescope magazine.
Carolyn's published articles have appeared YahooNews, in The Radcliffe Quarterly, as well as Sky & Telescope, SkyWatch, Astronomy, and StarDate magazines. In addition, her work has been showcased in MIT's TechTalk. Her submissions to the Griffith Observatory/Hughes Aircraft science writing contest won First Place in 1992 and Honorable Mention in 1995. Her 1985 article for The Denver Post, "The Lightning Makers," was selected as one of the 100 best science stories of that year. In 1988, she wrote "Jupiter," for a children's book series called Exploration of Space, published by Facts on File. She was also an invited contributor to the Van Nostrand Reinhold Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics.
Carolyn earned a masters' degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Colorado - Boulder, where she was a Professional Research Associate with the Hubble Space Telescope's Goddard High Resolution Spectrograph team at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. She also coordinated observations for the Ulysses Comet Watch project.
Carolyn served as the Publications Chair for the International Planetarium Society (1985-1990) and is an IPS Fellow. While on IPS Council, she spearheaded a major redesign and redirection of The Planetarian, and worked to produce several guidebooks written by planetarium professionals. She is a former President of the Rocky Mountain Planetarium Association (1987-1989) and served as its first Newsletter Editor.
She is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the National Association of Science Writers and holds a membership in the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Carolyn was elected to membership in Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism honorary, in 1993.