Professor Jim Funaro is the founder and program chair of the annual CONTACT conference, which explores various scenarios of what might happen when contact occurs between human and extraterrestrial beings. When he founded CONTACT in the early 1980s, it consisted largely of anthropologists, artists, and science fiction writers interested in thinking about contact with other intelligent life forms. It has now evolved into an international interdisciplinary forum on humanity's future as well as extraterrestrial contact. It attracts scientists, humanists, and educators from the SETI and astrobiology fields, and from space-oriented programs such as NASA. He is an award-winning poet and recently retired as an anthropology instructor. He presented a paper at the 1999 NASA meeting on the societal aspects of astrobiology.