Presentation #421.01 in the session “Chris Packham Plenary”.
As we eagerly await the opportunities that the JWST will afford, and the 30m class telescopes after that, the field of thermal-IR (TIR, ~3-25μm) astronomy continues to garner attention. In this talk, I discuss some of the TIR work I have been involved with, in both the science and instrumentation arenas. I use this to illustrate the path I hope to follow in the coming years. I also discuss the work to exploit astronomy as a path to STEM education in the dominantly Hispanic city of San Antonio, the home of UTSA.