Karen Vanlandingham, Ph.D

Associate Professor
Email: kvanlandingham@wcupa.edu
Office Hours:
Office Phone: 610-436-2278
Office Location: Merion 225
Courses Taught:
Introductory Astronomy, Geology of the Solar System, Intermediate Astronomy, History of Astronomy, Planetarium Director and Project ASTRO Director

B.S., New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Ph.D., Arizona State University

Dr. Vanlandingham teaches General Astronomy and Geology of the Solar System.  She occasionally teaches Intermediate Astronomy and History of Astronomy as well.  Dr. Vanlandingham studies interacting binary stars, specifically classical nova explosions. She uses observations and computer models to determine the elemental abundances produced in these explosions. It is thought that novae may be responsible for some of the isotopic anomalies seen in meteoritic inclusions in our solar system and may also contribute significantly to the abundance of some isotopes of aluminum and sodium seen distributed throughout the galaxy.

Dr. Vanlandingham is very active in informal education and public outreach.  She is the Director of the West Chester University Planetarium. The planetarium provides shows to private groups such as school groups, moms clubs, scout troops, and retirement homes.  There are also programs open to the general public.  Dr. Vanlandingham is also the director of Project ASTRO WCU - a program designed to improve astronomy education in the K-12 classroom by pairing up teachers with professional and amateur astronomers.