Ryan’s passion for the night sky began with childhood trips to the Palomar Observatory in his hometown of San Diego. Fascinated by the interactions of galaxies and the idea of an expanding universe, he went on to study physics at Carleton College where he was able to work at the historic Goodsell Observatory. A year spent studying at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland confirmed his love of cosmology and led him to the University of Chicago’s graduate program in Astronomy and Astrophysics. While at Chicago, he helped build the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Array, a group of state-of-the-art radio telescopes that examined the afterglow of the Big Bang and helped define critical parameters such as the expansion rate and density of the universe. In 2011, Ryan moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, renowned for its clear skies, and began establishing one-of-a-kind stargazing and science outreach programs for the valley’s many guests. This culminated in the formation of his company, Teton Skies, in 2015. When not stargazing, he is most likely to be found skiing the area’s rugged mountains or on the rugby pitch with his teammates, the Jackson Hole Moose.
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“People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
- MARCUS AURELIUS