Michael D. Reynolds (born 1954) is a Professor of Astronomy and served as the Dean of Mathematics & Natural Sciences and Professor of Astronomy at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida. Reynolds is perhaps best known for his astronomy and science education efforts, from the classroom to informal education to astronomy and space exploration outreach.
Reynolds has 38 years in astronomy and space sciences in the gamut of a high school and university instructor, planetarium and museum director, researcher, writer, and lecturer. He has received numerous recognition for his work, including the 1986 Florida State Teacher of the Year, Florida Teacher-in-Space Finalist, and the G. Bruce Blair Medal.
Reynolds received his AA from Florida Junior College, BA in Natural Sciences from Thomas Edison State College 1980, his master's degree in Science Education from the University of North Florida 1982, and an Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Science Education and Astronomy 1990.
Reynolds' astronomical research has been primarily focused on Solar System objects, as well as meteoritics. He has led expeditions around the world for numerous total solar eclipses, meteorite crater research, and meteorite recoveries. He worked with Meade Instruments in 2005 to develop, curate, and create Meade’s MeteoriteKit, a special set of meteorites, tektites, and impactites.
Reynolds has served as president of the Antique Telescope Society, on the Board of Directors of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), and chaired the Astronomical League’s individual Outreach Awards, which he initiated for the League. Reynolds has also served as chair or co-chair for several conferences, including the highly successful AstroCon 2004 held in Berkeley, California.
Reynolds is also a member of the American Astronomical Society, and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. He is on three national non-profit boards: Astronomy Outreach Foundation, the National Sharing the Skies Foundation, and the W Foundation (for Space Exploration education). He is also served on Meade 4M Community Board of Advisors.
Reynolds is the Executive Director Emeritus of the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California. He served as the Science Center’s Executive Director and CEO from 1991 to 2002, where he led the effort to design, fund raise for, and overview construction of a new, 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) astronomy and space-oriented science center which opened in 2000 to replace the 1915-era facility. He has served as an appraiser for numerous collections due to his expertise in rare and collectible astronomical and space artifacts.
Reynolds has been honored by the International Astronomical Union with the naming of asteroid 298877 Michaelreynolds, nominated by David Levy and Tippy DiAuria. The citation from MPC 80329, reads as follows: (298877) Michaelreynolds = 2004 SY26 Michael D. Reynolds (b. 1954) has spent many years inspiring students in astronomy in his role as Dean of mathematics and sciences and professor of astronomy at Florida State College in Jacksonville, Florida.
He was director of the Chabot Science Center in California from 1991 to 2002. Reynolds has written several astronomy books, including Binocular Stargazing (2003), Falling Stars (2000), and Observe Eclipses (1995). He also co-authored a college-level astronomy lab text, Basic Astronomy Labs (1996) and most-recently A Laboratory Guide for Astronomy (2015) with Michael Bakich; published by Morton Publishing. He writes and serves as a corresponding editor for Astronomy (magazine). In addition to leading expeditions worldwide, Mike is also an invited speaker, engaging audiences in things astronomical, as well as doing booksignings as often requested at many of his talks.