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Dr. Sian ProctorPHOENIX, Ariz. – Dr. Sian Proctor, geology professor at South Mountain Community College (SMCC), was selected to participate in GENIUS, a television series by Stephen Hawking The first episode is scheduled to air on PBS Wednesday, May 18, 2016. In the series, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking shows ordinary people how to think like a genius. Dr. Proctor is a volunteer participant in Episode 2: “Are We alone?”

Dr. Proctor is also one of nine individuals selected for the 2016 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP). The program brings amateur astronomers, planetarium personnel, and K-16 formal and informal astronomy educators to US astronomy facilities in Chile. In June, the ambassadors will travel to Chile and visit Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), Gemini-South Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter-submillimeter Array (ALMA). While at these facilities, ACEAP Ambassadors will receive extensive training about the instruments, the science, and data products, and the will also learn about communicating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts. When they return home, the Ambassadors will share their experiences and observatory resources with schools and community groups across the US.

Along with being a geology professor, Dr. Proctor is also a sustainability professor at SMCC. Throughout her adult life she has pushed herself to take on new challenges and to learn new things that she can bring back into the classroom. She has traveled and taught around the world, and was a finalist for the 2009 NASA Astronaut Program. She was on the 2010 Discovery Channel reality TV show called The Colony. In 2013 she lived for 120 days in a NASA funded Mars Simulation called HI-SEAS. Dr. Proctor’s experiences during the HI-SEAS mission and on The Colony taught her how to live in unique environments with limited resources. During the summer of 2014, Sian spent four weeks in Barrow, Alaska as a PolarTREC Teacher studying coastal erosion and risk management.

For those who want to learn more about this exciting new science, Dr. Proctor will be teaching Introduction to Planetary Science (GLG105) the coming fall 2016 semester.

For more information about “GENIUS”, visit

For more information about “ACEAP”, visit