Teaching & Research

Flyer for HSTS 451 - the history of outer space showing Jupiter and its' moon Io
There are things in the universe billions of years older than us…

They’re vast, timeless, and if they’re aware of us at all, it is as little more than ants…,
and we have as much chance of communicating with them as an ant has with us….
I am both terrified and reassured to know that there are still wonders in the universe,
that we have not yet explained everything…
– G’kar (Babylon 5)


Latest Posts


Women’s History of Outer Space

RIP John Young – Hope you smuggled a corned beef with you!

The Great Kiwi Eclipse of 2017

Solar Eclipses & History Part 2: What a drag! Archilochus & the Ugaritic tablets

Solar Eclipses and History Part 1: The Sky’s Gone Out

Space & Science & Piano!



I am semi-retired from teaching now, but I have previously taught two courses (The History of Outer Space and the Women’s History of Outer Space) for the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University through their award winning e-campus program.   Before that, I taught ‘Intro to Space Studies‘ for the Department of Space Studies at the University of North Dakota.    These courses explored the history of human interactions with outer space from ancient astronomy to current events – and, in the process, also taught students critical thinking, researching, writing, public speaking, and argumentative skills.


HSTS 452, Teaser Video

HSTS 451, Intro and Class Videos


Outreach Programs

I am available for space related public outreach and educational events.   Click here for more info.


Publications / Posters / Presentations

Below is a small list of projects that I have authored or edited


  • Confluences.    Interactive eBook Newsletter for the School of History, Philosophy, and Religion at Oregon State University.   Co-Authored by Courtney S. Campbell, Mina Carson, and Kara Ritzheimer.
  • R Peckyno. Lava Flow Morphology and Margin Analysis (LLAMA). Master’s Thesis, Oregon State University Department of Geosciences, 2010.
  • R Peckyno, S de Silva. R M Lopes. D Pieri.  LAMDA – The Lava Morphology Database: First Results and Interpretations  (POSTER) American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Meeting. December 2009, San Francisco, CA.
  • R Peckyno, S de Silva. LAMDA – The Lava Morphology Database: Concept and Call for Support (PRESENTATION), The Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting. October 2009, Portland, OR.
  • R M Lopes; ER Stofan; R Peckyno; et.al. Distribution and Interplay of Geologic Processes on Titan: Analysis Using Cassini Data. Icarus Volume 205, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 540-558. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2009.08.010.
  • R Peckyno, S de Silva.  Assessing the Impact of Data Resolution for Remote Sensing Based Models of Planetary Lava Flow Rheology. (POSTER) AGU Annual Meeting. December 2008, San Francisco, CA.
  • L C Wye, H A Zebker, R M Lopes, R Peckyno, A Le Gall, M A Janssen. Surface Parameters of Titan Feature Classes From Cassini RADAR Backscatter Measurements.(POSTER) AGU Annual Meeting. December 2008, San Francisco, CA.
  • R Peckyno, R M Lopes. Shaping Titan Update: GIS Mapping Saturn’s Largest Moon. (PRESENTATION) American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Columbia River Region Technical Session. September 2008, Vancouver, WA.
  • R Peckyno, S de Silva. Lava Flow Margin Lobation As A Proxy For Rheology. (POSTER) International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) Annual Conference. August 2008, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • R Peckyno.  The Sky is Falling: Disaster Mitigation, Management, and Media regarding the Asteroid Hazard.  Master’s Thesis, University of North Dakota Space Studies Department, 2004.
  • Kids to Space: A Space Traveler’s Guide – Contributing author. ISBN: 1894959426, Release 05/28/2006.
  • R Peckyno, DKR Robinson, R. Zelnio. The Committee on Lunar Exploration Advanced Robots and Satellites (CLEARS): A Working Model for the Alignment of Lunar Science Programs.(PRESENTATION) 55th International Astronautical Congress of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Vancouver, British Columbia, 10/2004. IAC.04.IAA.
  • R Peckyno.   Whiskey, Wire, and Steel: A Remote Sensing Perspective of Monessen, Pennsylvania Geography and History.   (PROJECT)   University of North Dakota.  05/2003.
  • R Peckyno, E Sadeh. Political And Policy Evolution Of Chinese Lunar Plans. (AAS 03-750) Proceedings of the International Lunar Conference 2003. International Lunar Exploration Working Group 5 – ILC2003 / ILEWG 5. ISBN 0-87703-513-X.


My current research interests include:


  • Augmented Reality art in public spaces
  • An exploration of ‘UFO Religions’ comparing religious mythologies with the existent planetary knowledge at the time of their formation.
  • An updated modern biography of Qian Xuesen, founder of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and ultimately China’s space program, using recently declassified material and focused on the pre-deporation years.
  • Science education and “New Space” : A comparative look at the education/outreach efforts of commercial space businesses (e.g. Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Rocketlab, Ariannespace, etc.).
  • Gender differences regarding undergraduate beliefs and knowledge about the history of outer space.
  • I am also hoping to get back to work on three children’s books:  One on basic volcanology, one about the Redwood forests, and one about on the women’s history of outer space… All will include Augmented Reality components. Someday. 🙂


Awards / Grants / Etc.


  • 2015 Carolyn Maresh Professional Staff Award, College of Liberal Arts, Oregon State University
  • 2015 Philosophy Program Service Award, Oregon State University
  • 2015 Merit Award, Association of Office Professionals at Oregon State University
  • 2014 Vice Provost Award for Excellence in Program Support, Oregon State University
  • ASPRS Certified GIS Mapping Scientist #GS227P
  • Tower Geosciences Graduate Student Research Grant Recipient, 2009
  • Oregon NASA Space Grant Fellow, 2006-2010
  • President of the OSU Student Chapter of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), 2008-2009
  • 1 of 16 students nationally selected for the NASA Graduate Student “Coffee with the Administrator” Event, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC, 2008
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Internship & Grant, Summer 2007
  • Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) Website of the Year (for Volcano World), 2005
  • Space Studies Graduate Student of the Year, University of North Dakota, 2003


Formal Teaching


  • 2016-2021, Oregon State University E-Campus, HSTS 451 – The History of Outer Space
  • 2019-2021, Oregon State University E-Campus, HSTS 452 – The Women’s History Outer Space
  • 2010, Oregon State University, Geosciences 599 – Planetary Geology (TA)
  • 2009, Oregon State University, Geosciences 300 – Sustainability and Environmental Conservation
  • 2004-2006, University of North Dakota, Space Studies 200 – Introduction to Space Studies
  • 1999-2000, MicroAge Corporation, Amarillo, TX – Microsoft Windows and Office Corporate Trainer


Teaching is like time travel.   It is a profession that lets you genuinely touch the future…