Observer People

Dr. John Olgin

GLOBE Teacher and Physics Professor
Dr. Olgin describes his work with the recent eclipse and scientific outreach in Latin American communities.

John G. Olgin, a physics professor at El Paso Community College, with a Ph.D. in geological sciences, joined GLOBE in a video interview detailing his work and experiences with The GLOBE Program. In the interview, Dr. Olgin describes his work with the recent eclipse and scientific outreach in Latin American communities.

You can watch the interview below or read the written article that follows.

Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Olgin was drawn to space exploration at a young age. This influenced his academic career and later led him to become an astronomy instructor. He began his work in outreach after attending an American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting, and it was at that time he was introduced to GLOBE by NASA.

After looking into GLOBE, Olgin “liked [the] vision that GLOBE had,” and in 2017 he underwent training to become a GLOBE Teacher. He is also a GLOBE Partner. He has been working with GLOBE ever since.

Olgin says he has “grown with the program… my Ph.D. was on data quality, for the GLOBE Observer app, and what methods/ways we can actually improve the data quality that people, participants and community scientists, can do.”

When asked about the October 2023 Annular Eclipse, Olgin described how observers were able to come together and “learn about eclipses, the social and cultural impacts of eclipses on society in general, but especially in mesoamerica.”

The area where the event took place was one close to home for Olgin.

“If you were to take an aerial photo of this area, you wouldn't be able to determine where the United States is and where Mexico is.” Olgin also expressed his joy and appreciation at being able to listen to GLOBE talks and seminars that are presented in English and Spanish. Features in the GLOBE Observer app are also available in Spanish. This really helps when he interacts with the Spanish-speaking community and teaches them about The GLOBE Program.

“I can relate to them and talk to them about GLOBE, and it’s important in that we are able to talk with them and relate to them in a science way…That encourages [them and myself] to share more.”