October 2007
Fred Marschak

Professor / Earth and Planetary Sciences
Has been at SBCC for 30 years. He has been in education for 41 years.

BA - Pennsylvania State University

MA - UCSB, Education - Emphases in Astronomy

MA - UCSB, Geography - Emphases in Impact Cratering

Interview with Fred Marschak :

What teaching tip or counseling advice do you have for other faculty?

Keep it exciting!!!  Keep your subject material current.  That's easy to do in Astronomy as there is always something new happening in the universe.

What "Words of Wisdom" do you have for other faculty?

Teaching must be your passion.

What careers or jobs did you have before working at SBCC?

I taught most varieties of physical science at various grade levels and was Planetarium Director for a central Pennsylvania school district.

Who was your most influential teacher and why?

Going to a one-room school in rural Pennsylvania, I had the same teacher for 6 years.  Mrs. Neal allowed me to work with the other students in a higher grade in some subjects.  I also was encouraged to help others in the lower grades as time permitted.  There were 4 students in my grade.

What is your favorite student line or excuse?

The time is the last week of the semester and a student says that they are only 2 points away from passing this course.   I have to remind them that they are 2 percent away from passing, not just 2 points!

What are your hobbies/interests?

Nancy & I love to travel, contribute to various organizations like the SBCC Foundation, the SB Museum Natural History, and Griffith Observatory.  We generally enjoy just 'hanging out' with our 3 cats, Tycho, Andromeda, and Comet.

What are you reading now?

A new book on Einstein called 'Einstein, his Life & Universe.'

What do you love about your job?

The variety of students and the support at SBCC.

What has been your greatest accomplishment and/or challenge?


Turning students, families, and the general public 'on' to astronomy.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I have had a real variety of abandoned/found household pets as a kid such as a skunk, a red fox, an opossum, and a boa constrictor.  Yes, there were dogs and cats too.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being at home with Nancy and traveling the world with Nancy.  We enjoy traveling throughout the Southwest and we enjoy traveling through the small towns of Europe especially in Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy.

What historical figure would you most want to meet?

Galileo.  He stood up for his beliefs.

What is your favorite place in the world?

At a glass factory on the island of Murano outside Venice.  I have always loved glass and the process in which it is created.  Nancy is a glass and lamp-work designer and fused glass jewelry maker.  We share this love of glass.

What is your personal motto?

Life's not fair, get over it.