Archive for the ‘ABOUT THE AUTHOR’ Category


October 2, 2009

Michael Spinner Smith Born:  1948.  Married to Janice Rae Littleton (MD)  (all our children have paws or hoofs).  Two brothers, Stephen (1943-2013) and Andrew (1945-2021).  My parents, Paul (1914-2006) and Ruth (1915-2002) were both educators, my father working his way from high school science teacher to school superintendent in 3 cities and assistant dean at the college of education at Cleveland State.  He authored several science books used in the 1950s and 1960s.  My mother was a sociology teacher and raised 3 boys.  She could be labeled as a saint, but as a Unitarian, she didn’t go in for that sort of stuff. High School:  Pierre S. duPont, Wilmington, DE (valedictorian), 1966 College:  Dartmouth, BA in Chemistry (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), 1970. Medical School:  University of Colorado (magna cum laude, AOA), 1974. Internship:  Presbyterian Medical Center, Denver (Rotating/medicine), 1974-1975. Languages:  English (native), German (B2), Spanish (A2). Military Service: US Navy:  Reserve Ensign, LT (j.g.) 1971-1975.  Active Duty: Medical Officer USS St. Louis (LKA-116), 1975-77; Medical Officer, Amphibious Squadron SEVEN, 1976-77.  Honorably discharged as LT,  5  July 1977. Residency:  University of Arizona, 1977-1980; chief resident, 1979-80. Faculty:  Assistant profesor, University of Arizona, 1979-1981.  Adjunct Assistant/associate professor of neurology, 1981-1990. Private Practice:  Neurological Associates of Tucson, 1981-1992. Medical Director, St. Mary’s Hospital, 1993-1998; senior medical director (quality), 1998. Graduate work: M.S., Experimental Statistics, New Mexico State University, 1998-2000. Consulting in statistics, quality and patient safety in medicine, 1999-2005.  Reader for AP statistics examination, 2003-2006. Organizations past held office: Pima County Medical Society, 1981-2011; vice-president, secretary/treasurer. Arizona Medical Association 1981-2004; treasurer, vice-president. Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, Chief Observer, 1986. Volunteer work:

  • Wilderness ranger, US Forest Service, Ely, MN, Kawishiwi District, May-October 1992.
  • Volunteer work, US Forest Service, Minnesota Boundary Waters, 1993-1999.
  • Mathematics, chemistry tutor, CDO High School, 2002-2011.  Substitute teacher, CDO HS 2010-2012.
  • Mathematics tutor, Sabino High School, 2002-2011.
  • Literacy Volunteers of Tucson, 2006-2010.
  • Tucson Audubon Society Field Trip leader, 2006-2012.
  • Rowe Audubon Sanctuary, Gibbon NE, 2008, 2010-2018.
  • Past docent, Kitt Peak National Observatory, 1986-87.
  • Eugene, Oregon Parks and Outdoor Services 2014-17
  • Eugene, Obsidian Hiking Group 2014-  (100 hike leader award) Over 1000 hours
  • Eugene, SMART (Start Making a Reader Today), 2014-15
  • Eugene, Lane Community College Math tutor, 2014-20  Over 1000 hours.
  • Eugene, Science Factory (Hands on Museum for Children), 2015-2017
  • Cascade Volunteers 2019- ; Secretary 2020-22  Over 2200 hours (including Scorpions)
  • Scorpions Trail Crew 2017-; Certified Crosscut Sawyer (bucking)-B certification. Over 1400 hours
  • Winter Trails (High Cascade Volunteers-now C.V.), 2017-
  • Covid Vaccination (2021)-75 clinics, 390.5 hours

Publications:  60 articles, not including twenty years of weekly astronomy columns (750 in all) in the Arizona Daily STAR and 9 years of monthly columns in Pima County Medical Society. Articles published in the following fields:

  • Military Medicine (Naval Institute Proceedings)
  • Mental arithmetic (The Arithmetic Teacher)
  • Wilderness ethics (The Boundary Waters Journal)
  • Volunteering for the Forest Service (Medical Economics)
  • Patient safety columns (Physician Executive)
  • Neurology (clinical) (Archives of Neurology, Neurology)
  • Neurology (humanities) (Neurology)
  • Eclipse viewing and chasing
  • Variable star viewing (Intl Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry)
  • Past CME Web page on why physicians make errors

Writing awards: American Academy of Neurology: Creative Expression Award for Human Values in Neurology (A Wise Owl),2003.  Prize donated to Médècins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). Writer’s Digest:  Honorable Mention, Non-fiction, “Lunar Phases for Writers and Editors,” 2003. Hobbies: Canoe Tripping Backpacking and Hiking Amateur astronomy and eclipse chasing Mathematics and anything numerical Reading Freelance writing Running Former cyclist (65000 miles, until I had one too many accidents, bringing my fracture total to nine); past volunteer with PBAA for  the cycling events. Taking care of more cats than I ever thought we would have. OUTDOOR RESUME CANOE TRIPPING: 25 trips into Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario–150 days.  Guided four trips (1967); 69 trips into the Boundary Waters/Quetico (Minnesota/Ontario)–325 nights, 360 lakes; the upper 200 miles of the Yukon River, including Lakes Laberge, Bennett, Nares and Tagish; the Nahanni River (World Heritage Site) from Rabbitkettle Hot Springs to the Liard River. BACKPACKING/HIKING: Section hiked the southern quarter of the Appalachian Trail (527 miles). 6 multi-day Grand Canyon trips, including rim to rim. 2 times over Alaska’s Chilkoot Trail. 2 trips into ANWR (Kongakut and Aichilik River basins). Arrigetch Peaks (Alaska), Alatna River (and Takahula Lake), Gates of the Arctic (Dalton Highway to Summit Lake). Noatak River (Alaska), 16 miles backpacking, Wulik Peaks (NW Alaska), 40 miles of hiking), 80 miles of river travel. Walked the length of Isle Royale (wolf in my campsite for 10 minutes, 10 miles from nearest other person.) Multi-day trip into Olympic National Park. Fourteen twenty-plus mile days, including three in a row. Fifty times up Wasson Peak, twenty times up Mt. Wrightson and Mt. Kimball (Tucson). Eight hundred thirty hikes into Oregon by 11 Feb 23. NATIONAL PARKS: Seen 50; have hiked more than 10 miles in more than half, 50 miles in nine. VOLUNTEER WORK: Five months with the Forest Service in Ely, MN (1992). Week-long trips from 1993-1999 with the Forest Service in Ely. Volunteer at Rowe Sanctuary (Audubon) during Crane Migration, Gibbon, NE, 2008, 2010-2018. ECLIPSES: Seen 24 central solar eclipses, 18 total, 6 annular on or over all continents, both North and South Poles.  Seen 15 total lunar eclipses.  The total eclipses were seen in Baja Mexico, Bolivia, India, Siberia, Aruba, Zambia, over Antarctica, South Pacific Ocean, Libya, over the Arctic Ocean, China, Argentina,  Australia, Uganda, over the Atlantic Ocean, over the equatorial Pacific (2019, 8m 27s totality) Indonesia, and Oregon.  The annular eclipses were seen in Arizona (2), San Diego, Costa Rica, Spain and Kenya.