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David DeColibus

David DeColibus
Graduate Students

Contact Info
decolib at
AY 107

Expertise: Observational Astronomy, Planetary Science



I am a third-year graduate student in the Astronomy Dept, beginning in August 2017. My hometown is Cleveland, Ohio. I received my BS in Physics from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio, working under Dr. Jason Pinkney as my advisor.


My undergraduate research dealt in determining the masses of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies using various methods, particularly stellar kinematics (M-sigma relation) and gas disk kinematics.

My area of study during my graduate career at NMSU is aimed more towards planetary sciences and ground-based observational astronomy. I am currently working with Dr. Nancy Chanover on a project involving infrared spectroscopy of icy satellites of Uranus, with an additional interest in stellar occultations.

Observational Astronomy

I have a strong interest in observational astronomy, telescopes, and observatories. I am a backup observing specialist on the Apache Point Observatory ARC 3.5m telescope, and have additionally used the ARCSAT 0.5m telescope, the Tortugas Mountain Observatory 0.6m telescope, and the Dunn Solar Telescope.



Teaching and Outreach Activities

  • Head TA, Astronomy Dept.
  • Tombaugh Campus Observatory Head TA

I also enjoy public outreach in astronomy. I am the head teaching assistant for the Tombaugh Campus Observatory, and you’ll see me there almost every Monday and Wednesday night during the semester helping out with the ASTR 110 students. During the summers of 2018 and 2019, I helped with public outreach and tours at the Sunspot Solar Observatory.

During my time at ONU I helped run observatory public events as president of the ONU Astronomy Club and was a teaching assistant for several physics labs and introductory astronomy courses. I also worked for eight months at a science museum (Great Lakes Science Center) in Cleveland, engaging with guests, serving as a tour guide, and performing science demonstrations.


In my free time, I enjoy amateur astronomy and astrophotography, hiking and camping, videogames, fishkeeping, reading, and desperately trying to make up for lost sleep.



  • None…yet.

Meetings Attended

  • Ohio Section APS (OSAPS) Regional Meeting, Spring 2013
  • OSAPS Regional Meeting, Fall 2013 (Poster Presentation)
  • OSAPS Regional Meeting, Spring 2014
  • OSAPS Regional Meeting, Fall 2014 (Poster Presentation)
  • OSAPS Regional Meeting, Spring 2015
  • OSAPS Regional Meeting, Fall 2015
  • OSAPS Regional Meeting, Spring 2016 (Poster Presentation)
  • Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting 50, Knoxville, TN, Fall 2018