Welcome to Earth 501!
My name is Mike Hardwig and I am the instructor for Earth 501. I should probably start off by saying that I am only the instructor, you'll meet the author, Dr. Eliza Richardson, on the next page titled "Meet the Author." So when you come to the sections in the course where there is a picture, sketch, video, or voice over by a woman, that is not me.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA (yes, I'm a Steelers fan) and I did my undergrad at nearby Indiana University of Pennsylvania (That sounds weird but it is in a town called Indiana, for those of you not from the area.) where I majored in Earth & Space Science Ed. and General Science Ed. After graduating I moved to Newburg, MD where I worked as a 9th grade Earth & Space science teacher for six years. While there I earned a Masters in Geosciences degree from Mississippi State, a non-education online degree designed for teachers. My wife and I met in Maryland and have since moved to Lancaster, PA in 2007 teaching 8th grade Earth & Space Science. Right around 2007 I started this program. Essentially, I was in your exact spot a few years ago.
We're notoriously bad for not having pictures of all three of us. If we do it is either too close, or too far away, or blurry, or off centered, or...you get the point. This is the best I could find! :)