Profiles of Astronomers: Dave Brodhead

In order for you to get to know us better, we’re going to periodically feature some info about astronomers in the University of Washington’s Department of Astronomy as well as our regular presenters at the UW’s Planetarium. This first installment will feature Dave Brodhead, one of our regulars!

Who are you and where are you from?
I am Dave Brodhead, B.A. in Ancient Greek, from Everett, WA.


How did you become interested in Astronomy?
Astronomy has always fascinated me.  I took ASTR 101 from Professor Laws during Spring quarter 2012 and loved it.  I decided to bring a Sunday School class which I taught (ages 8-10) to the planetarium.  Many of these students did not have college-educated parents.  Chris and Amit helped to get me trained to use the facilities.  With help from the Classics department and Latin professor, Dr. Connors, the event was a success and the students loved it (see  Since then, I have been volunteering at the UW Planetarium and Mobile Planetarium as often as my time permits.  I also try to get out and do some nighttime observing as well.


What do you study?
I am a Classicist with a research emphasis in ancient (Greco-Roman mostly) and modern gynecology and obstetrics, particularly dystocia or difficult childbirth.  I am currently applying to medical schools.


What’s the coolest thing in the Universe?
For me its the images from the Ultra Deep Field Lens of the Hubble.  I can’t get over just how much “stuff” there is out there!  It is really amazing!


What’s the coolest thing outside your field?
Gynecology and Obstetrics.  I am really interested in the growing numbers of midwife-assisted births and increasing rates of infant and maternal mortality in the U.S. in recent years.


What’s your favorite non-astronomy hobby?
Legos.  One childhood just wasn’t enough…


Anything else you’d like to have known about you?
I always like to learn about people’s family (kids, spouse, dog, etc.), interesting places they have lived (could be abroad or domestically), and languages they speak/know, if applicable.  So… I have been married for over 5 years.  I have three kids: twin daughters who are 4 and a son who is 2.  I lived in southern Chile for 15 months.  I know English, Spanish, ancient Greek, Latin, and a bit of Old English (Anglo Saxon).


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