W. Dean Pesnell is the Project Scientist of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. He has published over 100 papers in a variety of research areas, including variable stars, sungrazing comets, the Sun-Earth connection, quantum mechanics, and meteors in planetary atmospheres. He received his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Florida. After a post-doc at the University of Colorado and a visiting professorship at New Mexico State University, Dr. Pesnell moved to Goddard as a contractor in 1990. He formed Nomad Research, Inc. in 1995 to do independent scientific research. One research contract was to help design the Living With a Star missions that would study the response of the Earth to solar activity. He started working on SDO in 2004 and became the Project Scientist in 2005. He has lectured extensively on solar activity, including the unusual minimum in solar activity from 2008-2009, and predicting solar activity.