Bart Leahy is Chief of Communications at Zero Point Frontiers Corp., a space and technology firm in Huntsville, Alabama. Bart is a technical communications professional who constantly strives to expand the boundaries of what it means to be a technical writer. Over the course of 15 years, he has answered letters, written materials for training classes, and written information technology design documents for the Walt Disney World Resort. He has written proposals, designed websites, and developed business metric reports for government contractors. He also has developed web content, proposals, executive speeches, fact sheets, presentations, white papers, and management documents for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
In his so-called free time, he has been a citizen lobbyist, policy writer, and convention chairman in the space advocacy community as well as a stage manager, interviewer, writer, and scheduler for the “Science Cheerleaders.” He does all this because he has an abiding love for organizing and sharing science and technical information to produce useful results in the real world. He’s even been known to be funny on occasion. Bart sees himself as a “utility player” or intellectual Swiss Army knife: able to take on multiple jobs and skills for the sheer joy of it. This blog offers his thoughts on how to think about technical communication from multiple perspectives. Enjoy!
In his day job, Bart coordinates Zero Point Frontiers’ internal and external communication efforts, including the company’s website, Facebook, and Twitter presences. He also contributes to and reviews the technical documents ZPFC develops for its customers. Prior to working for ZPFC, Bart was a Senior Technical Writer at the Schafer Corporation, where he supported the Marshall Space Flight Center. He developed and presented the proposal and served as chairman for the 850-person 2011 International Space Development Conference in Huntsville. Prior to coming to NASA, Bart was a proposal writer for the defense industry and a technical writer for the Walt Disney World Resort.
During his space career, Bart has been a member of four NASA teams that received a Group Achievement Award. As a professional writer, he has produced papers for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), and the Joint Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force (JANNAF) conference, as well as over 30 articles for Ad Astra, NASA ASK Magazine, NSS.org (the National Space Society’s web site), Science@NASA, ScienceCheerleader.com Space.com, Space News, and The Space Review.
In 2008, he was introduced online to Darlene Cavalier, the Original Science Cheerleader. After making several suggestions regarding her website, Darlene put him to work as an article writer, researcher, and eventually event manager for the Science Cheerleaders, taking on paperwork, proposals, schedules, itineraries, and other logistical tasks that no one ever sees but which help ensure that the show goes on.
Bart has also been a space advocate in his free time. He has been a member of the National Space Society (NSS), as well as Vice President of the local chapter of NSS, the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5); a member of the MarsDrive Board of Advisors; a public outreach writer for the Mars Foundation, and a regular member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Society for Technical Communication (STC), and AIAA. He has written for and led NSS’s Space Settlement Calendar; led a campaign to send letters to the editor into the top 100 newspapers in the United States during “World Space Week”; and has served as the Policy Formulation Subcommittee Chairman, where he wrote position papers for the Society and talking points for citizen lobbyists during their annual “legislative blitz.” He has been a convention speaker and panelist on a variety of topics related to space advocacy.
Bart has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, since 2006. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s degree in Technical Writing from the University of Central Florida. His master’s thesis described methods of using targeted marketing to enhance the appeal of space exploration advocacy. His personal blog can be found at http://bartacus.blogspot.com. He can be contacted by email at bart [at] sciencecheerleader.com.