God's Outrageous Universe
Faith and Science
There have been several times in my life when I have felt the need or call to publicly declare my faith in the God of the Bible and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God's Outrageous Universe is one of those times.
Why Faith and Science? God has blessed my life with the opportunity to work with some of the great scientists of our times. He created in me an interest and ability to think about atoms and molecules (Ph.D. in Chemistry) and then the physical, life and geosciences. God provided the opportunity for me to know and work as a young investigator, with people who had literally changed the world by synthesizing and identifying 12 trans-uranium elements on the periodic table. The Lord led me into education outreach and provided a career with opportunity to be part of national and state science education reforms and to enjoy knowing and working with hundreds of truly dedicated scientists, engineers and educators and especially many K-12 teachers. Finally God provided good health, resources, time and renewal of the Spirit to more fully serve Him in retirement.
To my wife Shari, whom I met at Valparaiso University 55 years ago and who has supported, encouraged and at times corrected my walk with God.
To my children and now four grandchildren who have been a blessing from God.
To all of my friends and associates, I thank you for your inspiration and encouragement.
To God Be the Glory
Child of God
Roland (Rollie) J. Otto retired as scientist and educator from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he was Head of the Center for Science and Engineering Education (1988 – 2006). He was the Executive Director of the University of California statewide teacher professional development program – the California Science Project (1995-1998) and Assistant Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley (1986-1988). He held a variety of research and management positions at Berkeley Lab, including Staff Scientist and Assistant Division Head of the Energy and Environment Division.
While at Berkeley Lab, he developed and managed programs that included, K-12 science education partnerships with local school districts, summer internships for high school and undergraduate students and for college faculty; a model research partnership with minority-serving institutions; and he established a summer research internship program for secondary science and math teachers that became a national “teacher as scientist” program supported by the Department of Energy. Dr. Otto has been the PI and Co-PI on multiple Department of Energy, NSF and State Funded grants totaling over $30M during his career.
Dr. Otto was a member of the Science Subject Matter Committee, California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (2001-2002) establishing subject matter content standards for science teachers. He was a consultant to the Academic Standards Committee for drafting California’s science standards for K–12 public schools, was principal writer and advisor for the California Science Framework Committee (1999–2001), was consultant and editor for the Science Framework for California Public Schools, and chaired the Content Review Panel for California’s Science Instructional Materials Adoption Process (1999). He recently served on a National Academy of Engineering panel to review and report on K-12 engineering education in the U.S. (2007-2009).
Dr. Otto has a Ph.D. in nuclear/physical chemistry from Purdue University, and a B.S. in chemistry from Valparaiso University. He did his postgraduate work at Berkeley Lab with Nobelist Glenn T. Seaborg which began a close working relationship for the next 25 years. He has published research in the field of heavy ion nuclear reactions. After retirement he continued working on education outreach with the Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics established by Professor George Smoot who shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in cosmology.
The Avanced Light Source at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Chapel of Resurrection at Valparaiso University
Rollie making liquid nitrogen ice cream at for HS students in the Physics in and Through Cosmology Workshop