Meet our Alumni: Ken Mankoff

Ken Mankoff started at GMWS in Nursery and left after 9th grade, and graduated from high school in 1993. Read more about Ken

GMWS: Can you say a little bit about where you went to college, what you studied, and what you are doing now?

KM: I went to the University of Colorado, Boulder, because Colorado has ~330 days of sun per year and world-class skiing. It turns out they also have a good university and amazing research opportunities. I studied Computer Science, but was hired, at age 18, to work with the first spacecraft designed, built, and flown by students. I spent seven years doing that, which spawned my current career.

In early August 2017, I moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. I'm a new Senior Scientist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in the Department of Glaciology and Climate. My new job is a bit unclear since I've only just arrived, but in general I will be monitoring the health of Greenland via remote sensing (satellites), and in-situ sensor (weather stations that we install and maintain around the ice sheet).

GM: What were the best aspects of your time at Green Meadow?

KM: I left 21 years ago. My memory is one large fuzzy positive one. Very fuzzy, but 100% positive, and I do smile when I think of GMWS. I do have some specific snapshot memories (again all positive) such as: playing on the jungle gym with Eric Shurtleff, learning how to read critically from Mr. Wulsin, and sewing and knitting.

Maybe the main best aspect was spending a decade growing and developing with one small class. At the time it was normal, but now looking back, the cohesiveness of the group seems unique. The occasional times I do cross paths or email with an old classmate, it is always special.

GM: What do you think makes Green Meadow most unique or special?

KM: Small class sizes, build-your-own-textbooks, non-traditional experiences like knitting and sewing which I still find useful), extensive woodworking, etc.

GM: What advice would you give to a parent or student considering GMWS, especially someone who thinks they might want to study in your field?

KM: I like to think that GMWS and the creativity and exploration offered there (that I think may not be offered at traditional public schools) prepared me to be a scientist, but I've met many peers who may be better scientists than I, and went to public school.

Ken Mankoff in Antarctica.

Ken Mankoff in Antarctica.