After taking a course in astronomy during his undergraduate studies, Dr. John G. Kirk desired to delve into the field of astronomy as a career path. After receiving a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Michigan in 1966, he entered the field as a junior astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, maintaining the role for three years. From there, he relocated to the University of Toledo in Ohio, where he served as an assistant professor of astronomy from 1969 to 1974. For the following five years, he served as a systems analyst for the Computer Sciences Corporation in Silver Spring, Maryland, before being hired by General Dynamics Corporation at the Vandenberg Air Force Base as a systems analyst in their electronics division in 1979.
From 1980 to 1995, Dr. Kirk served as a professional staff member for Geodynamics Corporation in Santa Barbara, California, having served in the same capacity for Illgen Simulation Technologies in Goleta, California, from 1995 to 2003. Shortly thereafter, he joined the faculty of Northrop Grumman, where he remained until 2010. Subsequently, Dr. Kirk was a staff member at Houghton Associates for five years before becoming a consultant in 2015 – a role he still holds today.
Notably, as a testament to his renown and success, Dr. Kirk received a Technology Innovation Award from NASA in 1981. He was also highlighted in the 21st edition of Who’s Who in the West in 1987. A member of Sigma Xi, the Institute of Navigation, the American Geophysical Union and the American Astronomical Society, he intends to continue serving his region as a consultant in the upcoming years. Alongside his doctorate, Dr. Kirk also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College and a Master of Arts from the University of Michigan, obtained in 1960 and 1962, respectively.