Paul K. Davis


Paul K. Davis (viola) was born in Kentucky and raised in Indiana.  He earned a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, using inert gas mass spectroscopy to study meteorites and the moon samples brought back by the Apollo missions.  In industry he has worked on energy conservation simulations, nuclear power safety, and magnetic and optical disk drive technology.  Twenty-five years ago he came to NASA’s Ames Research Center to be optics physicist for SIRTF (now Spitzer Space Telescope), after which he worked many years on SOFIA (the big telescope in a Boeing 747), and various other projects.  Paul was President of the Ames Federal Employees Union for two terms and also served as President of the NASA-wide council of union locals.  His personal interests include genealogy and community theatre, in which he has played many roles including the lead in “Harvey”, designed sets and seating systems, and much more.  He is a lay leader in the Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation where he has delivered over a dozen guest sermons.  He has played violin since childhood, is a member of the Ohlone Symphony Orchestra, and has been in various theatrical pit orchestras.  He took up viola two years ago and enjoys its deeper tones compared to the violin.