Russ at the Orion Observatory
with the Meade 10"
equipped with a CCD camera
Russell Merle Genet, PhD, is a
Scholar in Residence at California Polytechnic State University (Cal
Poly), Adjunct Professor of Astronomy at Cuesta College, and the
Director of the
Pioneer of the world’s first
fully robotic observatory (featured in the PBS special, The Perfect
Stargazer), and the 51st President of the Astronomical
Society of the Pacific, Russ now teaches astronomy and guides research seminars at Cuesta College, and
teaches short courses about the cosmos and humanity for Cal Poly, Cuesta
College, and the Orion Institute. He has also authored a dozen books and
scientific papers (see
Although his doctoral degree is in astronomy, his bachelor's
degree is in electrical engineering and he loves designing
telescopes and observatories. Currently, he is working with
several others to develop a new class of low cost, lightweight research
tele-scopes in the aperture range of 0.5-1.0 meters, ie. 20-40 inches (see
Russ specializes in photometric
observations and analysis of very short-period eclipsing binary
stars—following changes in star spots and searching for extrasolar
planets. In addition he makes his obser-vatory available to
students from Cal Poly and Cuesta College
to assist them in their research.
Russ also studies cosmic evolution, the grand synthesis of phys-ical,
biological, and cultural evolution (See
Russ and his wife Cheryl (his secret childhood sweetheart -
The Russ and Cheryl Story)
live near San Luis Obispo on California's Central Coast.
They often teach and work on projects together. In his spare time
Russ rides bicycles, paddles kayaks, flies airplanes, and plays his keyboard.