Tucson’s favorite meteorite man will make an appearance at the 41st annual TusCon convention, a science fiction, fantasy and horror extravaganza this weekend.
Geoff Notkin, the Old Pueblo resident whose face reaches millions of people around the world in syndication on the science series “Meteorite Men,” will appear on several panels, including a talk titled “Meteorites, Martial Arts, Movie-Making and More,” with actor Ernie Reyes, Jr.
Notkin has long been a science fiction fanatic. He has attended conventions — as spectator and guest — all over the globe.
TusCon ranks as one of his favorites.
“It is really done out of love,” Notkin said. “It is very intimate. They max out attendance at 500 people. But it is just so action-packed with so many events and panels.”
This year’s TusCon, running Friday through Sunday, includes a cosplay contest, an anime screening room, a LAN gaming room, paneled discussions and a burlesque show dubbed “Phasers set to Stunning.”
You can find a full schedule at tusconscificon.com online.
Here is what has been going on with Notkin.
He is still basking in the afterglow of recognition. Notkin recently won two regional Emmy Awards for his work with the locally produced educational program “The S.T.E.M. Journals.” The show is filmed almost entirely in Arizona, and covers a range of science and technology topics, such as alternative energy, archeology and biomechanics.
“Educational television is not always the kind of thing that gets awards,” Notkin said. “We have a modest budget. We deal with facts more than glamour. But we try to keep the show funny and engaging.”
The program is produced by Cox Creative Studios. Find out more about the show at facebook.com/cox7thestemjournals
His day job has a new home. Even before Notkin’s profile was boosted to the cosmos on the Science Channel series “Meteorite Men,” he dealt in space rocks in Tucson with his company Aerolite Meteorites. His business recently moved into a building built in the 1920s at East Speedway and North Stone Avenue.
It relocated after years of operating from Notkin’s property on the northwest side of town.
After some significant renovations, the new place includes an interview room for television production, a press room for book-printing and a gallery for showcasing the company’s most prominent finds.
“I have all my interests together under one roof, at last,” Notkin said.
He is buddies with Ernie Reyes Jr. Notkin helped bring Reyes, whose career includes films with The Rock, Harrison Ford and the original “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” to TusCon.
The two met at a science convention in Phoenix last year, and became fast friends. Their panel appearance, together with actor Eric Schumacher and producer Michael Candela, will revolve around their experiences in the entertainment industry.
“Ernie is the martial arts master and I am the one climbing up and down mountains with all this equipment on my back,” Notkin said. “This collaboration has been a long time coming.”