David G. Finley

Professional Experience

Public Information Officer, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM, 1992 to present.

Manager, R&D Programs, Advanced Scientific and Engineering Computational Center, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, RI, 1990 to 1992. Conceived and directed execution of user-recruitment and outreach programs at this Cray-equipped supercomputer center, used by scientists and engineers in such fields as computational fluid dynamics, acoustics, battleforce simulation, structural analysis, electromagnetics, and others. Led user-service and public-relations efforts, including science-education talks and events for local school and youth groups.

Documentation Manager, Air Force Supercomputer Center, Air Force Research Laboratory (then Air Force Weapons Laboratory), Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM, 1987 to 1990. Managed editing staff in the establishment and maintenance of a complete user documentation system, including printed and online documents, for computing center including a CRAY-2 and CRAY-1S. User manuals and Vector View, a nationally-circulated technical newsletter, won four awards from the Society for Technical Communication. Also developed training program, prepared training materials, and taught workshops for users, operators, and system administrators of DataTree®, a large-scale distributed file management system.

Research Assistant, Institute of Meteoritics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1986 to 1987. Performed research in planetary geology, specifically on meteorites and their parent bodies. Background investigation included study of samples of a wide variety of meteorites and lunar rocks. Prepared reports and lectures on aspects of the investigations. Used scanning electron microscope, electron microprobe X-ray analysis, and optical microscopes (polarizing and non-polarizing).

Adjunct Lecturer in Geology and Astronomy at Florida International University, Miami, 1984 to 1986. Taught laboratory courses in Geology. At request of Physics Department, designed and taught laboratory course in Astronomy, including writing syllabus, designing course materials and exercises, and selecting equipment for a teaching observatory.

Writer and Editor, The Miami Herald, 1972 to 1983. Served on the newspaper's State Desk, City Desk and National Desk during this period. Established and edited the Science/Medicine section. This weekly science section contained articles by staff, freelance and other writers. Also wrote articles for this section, which was well-received among both scientists and the public.

Military Service, U.S. Marine Corps, 1969 to 1971. Legal clerk and court reporter. Drafted charges and specifications and prepared convening orders and other documents related to courts-martial and Article 15 (non-judicial punishment) proceedings. Recorded and transcribed proceedings of courts-martial. Received Meritorious Mast (commendation), meritorious promotion, and was named Marine of the Quarter.

Reporter and Feature Writer, The Coshocton Tribune, Coshocton, Ohio, 1968 to 1969. Covered local police, other local government agencies and general-interest events.


B.S. with Honors, Geology, Florida International University, Miami, 1986.

B.A., Political Science, Stetson University, DeLand, FL, 1968.


American Astronomical Society: Member.

New Mexico Geological Society: Life Member.

American Radio Relay League: Accredited Volunteer Examiner, Registered Instructor and Public Information Officer.

Socorro Amateur Radio Association: President, 1994 & 1995.

Civil Air Patrol: Commander, Socorro Composite Squadron.

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association: Member.

New Mexico Museum of Space History Commission: Member, 2002-2004.

Socorro County Chamber of Commerce: President, 1995-1997. Member, Board of Directors, 1994-2001.

The Albuquerque Astronomical Society: President, 1989 & 1990. Initiated and led public-education program that reached more than 10,000 people annually. Led fund-raising drive to build a public observatory. Vice President, 1988.

Southern Cross Astronomical Society, Miami, Florida: Member, Board of Directors and Public Information Officer, 1984-1986. Comet Halley education coordinator and lecturer aboard comet cruise on SS Rhapsody.

Additional Qualifications

Federal Aviation Administration: Private Pilot Certificate.

Federal Communications Commission:
General Radiotelephone Operator License (Commercial) with Radar Endorsement
Amateur Extra Class License

Lectures and Presentations

My lectures have covered topics including astronomy, geology, high-performance computing, technical communication, science journalism and popularization, and amateur radio. I have delivered lectures at:


For a short list of some of my publications, click here.