The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum has appointed David Bush director of its state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium.
Bush, who has served as the Planetarium’s technical and production coordinator since 2000, is an astronomy and earth-science educator. A certified New York State public school teacher, he earned a Master of Science degree in Earth Science Education from Long Island University.
“Dave’s depth of knowledge, his experience as both an astronomy educator and as planetarium director for school districts, plus his skills as a technical pro and production artist make him uniquely qualified for this job,” said Lance Reinheimer, executive director of the Museum.
Since 2010, Bush also has worked for Western Suffolk BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) as planetarium director for multiple school districts.
In his new post, he will hire and manage Planetarium staff, collaborate with Development staff on grants and fundraising events, work with the administration on strategic planning, and acquire and maintain Planetarium technology.
Bush also will work with the Education, Curatorial, and Communications departments on programs that promote the Museum’s mission. And he will collaborate with regional planetariums, science centers, observatories and museums to share ideas and to develop and deliver quality programming.
“I am thrilled, and ready to take the Planetarium in some new and exciting directions,” Bush said. “We have an incredible staff of talented educators and astronomers. I want to facilitate the growth of our team to create fresh content for the public and for visiting school groups from all over Long Island and beyond.
“We’ll focus on the visitor experience. We want audiences to have a fun, memorable time that will leave them with a sense of awe and appreciation for the astonishing beauty of the night sky. Observing the heavens at night can spark some of our deepest questions about life and the universe.
“The Planetarium specializes in astronomy education, but we also do much more. Our entertainment offerings include laser light shows, live concerts under the dome, plays, poetry, and other creative ventures that use the amazing visual capabilities of the domed Planetarium theater. We want to expand those offerings.”
Bush, as the Planetarium’s technical and production coordinator, developed new programming, which included writing scripts, creating imagery, music, video and special effects. He was actively involved in the planning phases of the $4 million renovation and technological upgrade of the Vanderbilt Planetarium. He maintained and repaired the facility’s Konica Minolta projection system, the video and automation systems, special effects and optical devices. He also hired and trained Planetarium staff in the operation of the Planetarium and Observatory.