Curriculum Vitae

May 2017

Dr. James Edward Heath, Jr.

Born:     July 28, 1965   Seymour, Indiana

Current Phone Numbers

(512) 223-6052     (Austin Community College)

(Postal Address available upon request)

Electronic mail (click to send e-mail)


1993-1996, 1998-2005    

Ph. D. -- December 2005

Science Education Center, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, The University of Texas at Austin

Doctoral Thesis: In their Words, Through their Eyes:  Novice Teachers Reflect on their Preservice Education


M. A. - June 1990

Department of Astronomy, The University of Texas at Austin


B. A. in Astronomy - May 1987 magna cum laude

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Positions Held:

September 2000 - Present:

Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Austin Community College

Chair, Department of Physical Sciences (as of June, 2010)

Courses Taught:

  • PHYS 1111 -- Introductory Astronomy Laboratory
  • ASTR 1303 -- Stellar Astronomy
  • ASTR 1403 -- Stellar Astronomy with Laboratory
  • ASTR 1304 -- Solar System Astronomy
  • ASTR 1404 -- Solar System Astronomy with Laboratory
  • PHYS 1401 -- General Physics I
  • PHYS 1405 -- Conceptual Physics I
  • SCIT 1418 -- Applied Physics

July 2004 - Present:

Independent Contractor, Pearson / Addison Wesley / Prentice Hall / Cengage Learning

Duties: Review and comment on sections of textbooks for algebra-based physics and non-majors astronomy in preparation by publishing company; authored instructor's manual for non-majors astronomy text; co-authored solutions manual for algebra-based beginning physics text.

January 1998 - December 2002:

Independent Contractor, StarDate magazine

Duties: Composition of questions and answers based on the scripts for the popular StarDate radio program, placed on a World Wide Web site used by educators in conjunction with the radio show.

January 1990 - August 2000:

Adjunct Faculty, Austin Community College

Subjects Taught: Non-major courses in Stellar (PHYS 1311) and Solar System (PHYS 1312) Astronomy. Also serving on Physical Sciences Task Force and various committees therein.

January - August 2000:

        Instructional Associate, Austin Community College

Duties:  One-on-one tutoring of students in college math and physics courses.  Development of tutorial materials on the World Wide Web for students in college math and physics classes.

June - August 1999:

Research Assistant, Institute for Technology and Learning, The University of Texas at Austin

Duties: Construction of an on-line tutorial on the World Wide Web for teachers using educational software designed by the institute. Adaptation of the software's teachers' manual for the Web. Compilation and annotation of a list of educational astronomy Web sites.

January -August 1997

Researcher, Austin Community College Office of Professional and Organizational Development

Duties: Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data pertaining to the views of participants in a community college peer mentoring program.

July 1996 - May 1997

Astronomy Instructor, TI-IN Network (a division of Westcott Communication, Inc.)

Duties: Creation of lesson plans, hands-on activities, and on-air material for high school and middle school distance learning astronomy classes; Lectures and voice-overs (live and via tape) for distance learning classes on astronomy broadcast to high schools and middle schools across America; Answering questions via phone and electronic mail from students and on-site facilitators.

September 1995 - May 1996

Science Coordinator, Duane Lake Academy

Duties: Creation of high school physical science curricula for home-schooled children; creation and facilitation of group science activities; Assessment of student progress through portfolios.

August 1995-June 1996

Research Assistant to Dr. Mary Kay Hemenway and Dr. James P. Barufaldi, University of Texas at Austin and Project AASTRA

Duties: Analysis of qualitative data regarding participants' views of a summer astronomy workshop for secondary and elementary science teachers. Analysis used in regular reports to the National Science Foundation.

January 1995 - June 1996

Tutor, Duane Lake Academy (Austin, Texas)

Duties: Assisting students taking high school level correspondence courses in a variety of academic subjects.

November-December 1994

Reviewer for Astronomy: the Cosmic Journey, 1995 edition, by William J. Hartmann (Wadsworth Publishing)

Duties: Review text and make suggestions for improvement for new edition of astronomy textbook.


Research Assistant to Dr. David L. Lambert, University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy

Duties: Gathering and reduction of astronomical data in the field of stellar spectroscopy. Working with telescopes at McDonald Observatory and Palomar Observatory. Fortran computer programming on a Vax mainframe and a Sun workstation. Creation of graphs and tables for publications.

1987-1991, Fall 1994 Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at Austin

Assisted with grading, study sessions, and lectures for the following courses:

  • AST 301    --  Introductory Non-major Astronomy
  • AST 302    --  Self-paced Introductory Non-major Astronomy
  • AST 309K  --  Solar System Astronomy
  • AST 309L  --  The Search for Extraterrestrial Life
  • AST 316K  --  Archeo- and Ethno-astronomy of the Americas


Heath, J. E., (2017) Instructor's Resource Manual for Astronomy Today, 9th Edition, by Chaisson and MacMillan (Pearson / Prentice Hall)

Heath, J. E., (2013) Instructor's Resource Manual for Astronomy Today, 8th Edition, by Chaisson and MacMillan (Pearson / Prentice Hall)

Heath, J. E., (2011) Instructor's Solutions Manual for College Physics, 2nd Edition, by Giordano (Cengage)

Heath, J. E., (2010) Instructor's Resource Manual for Astronomy Today, 7th Edition, by Chaisson and MacMillan (Pearson / Prentice Hall)

Heath, J. E., (2007) Instructor's Resource Manual for Astronomy Today, 6th Edition, by Chaisson and MacMillan (Pearson / Prentice Hall)

Heath, J. E. (1998) "A two-sided mirror for education: Critical reflection in the science classroom." Journal of College Science Teaching 28 (6), p. 412.

Lambert, D. L., Heath, J. E., Lemke, M., & Drake, J. (1996) "The chemical composition of field RR Lyrae stars I: Iron and calcium." The Astrophysical Journal 458 (2), p. 865.

Lambert, D. L., Heath, J. E., Lemke, M., & Drake, J. (1996) "The chemical composition of field RR Lyrae stars I: Iron and calcium." The Astrophysical Journal Supplemental Series 103 (1), p. 183.

Lambert, D. L., Smith, V. V., & Heath, J. E. (1993) "Lithium in the barium stars." Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 105, p. 568.

Lambert, D. L., Heath, J. E., & Edvardsson, B. "Lithium abundances for 81 F dwarfs." Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 253, p. 610.

Professional Organizations:

  • Member, American Association of Physics Teachers, since Sept. 2000
  • Member, National Science Teachers' Association, since Sept. 1994
  • Member, American Educational Research Association, Jan. 1998 – December 2006
  • Member, National Association for Research in Science Teaching, since Jan. 1998

Teaching Effectiveness:     Information available on request

References:     Letters of reference available on request;

Portfolio of work available on World Wide Web:

Research Interests:

  • Science education reform efforts pertaining to the training and induction of secondary science teachers
  • Using methods of qualitative naturalistic inquiry to discover the "lived reality" of classroom teaching
  • Study of the relationships between beginning teachers and peer mentors.
  • Study of the use of critical reflection in science teaching, both as an instructional tool and as a professional development tool.
  • Study of the effects of class attendance on student achievement.