About the Nerds


Craig Hardgrove

Craig is a planetary scientist (PhD, 2011) who works on the Mars Curiosity rover. He is a member of both the neutron detector and color camera teams, where he tries to figure out where all that darn water went on Mars. Craig is also interested in the commercial space industry, and is part of a small research program focusing on academic and commercial space partnerships. For funzies, Craig plays a lot of video games, loves to podcast with friends, write his own podcasts, and occasionally he writes some music. He enjoys story-based first person games, he can’t wait for Destiny, and on a few glorious days he actually got to help the people who make video games make their rocks look super sweet.

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Natalie Hinkel

Natalie is an astrophysicist (PhD, 2012) although she likes to call herself a "planetary astrophysicist" because of all the work that she does studying planets outside of our solar system, or exoplanets. In general, she looks at the elements inside of nearby stars, because it's true - we're all made of stardust and so is everything around us. In her spare time, Natalie likes to get herself outside and maybe hike or camp. She also travels a lot: sometimes it's for fun, sometimes it's for work, but most of the time it's because she lives in both San Francisco and Phoenix. Her favorite beers are wheat or Belgian-style. She also has an affinity for good whiskies and bourbons.

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Krissy Lenz

Krissy is Director of National Comedy Theatre, an improviser, a teacher of improv, and a mom. Krissy hosts & performs weekly in Competitive Comedy Shows, coaches & administrates the High School Improv League, she teaches the Main Stage performers as well as the Level 1, 2 & 3 Workshop Classes. She hosts, produces and performs in Spoof N Cinema, weird old movies given new, hilarious sound tracks live. ...And she hosts, curates and produces the First Time Film Club. Krissy is mom to Zoe Violet & Rocket- two of the awesomest kids that planet Earth has ever seen... that's a science fact, Natalie and Craig checked. Krissy is a fan of all things nerdy & fantastic, she looks forward to providing a very average, hopefully funny point of view on the Science Bar Podcast.

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Dorian Lenz

Dorian is the Director of NCT Phoenix. He previously enjoyed a successful career as Director of National Comedy Theatre San Diego; San Diego's longest running comedy show. Dorian began performing improv comedy as a young teenager and now has more than 15 years of performance experience under his belt. Dorian has been teaching professional improvisers, workshop classes and high school improv leagues for more than 10 years. Dorian has performed across the country and all over the world, including performing overseas in Germany, Holland and Belgium for US Troops with Armed Forces Entertainment, as well as countless corporate and special events all over the United States. Dorian is a science fan, and is excited to talk real science with real scientists, and not just conspiracy theories. Although he may bring some of those up anyway.

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