Steve Mandel is an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. He owns a small observatory, called Hidden Valley Observatory, in Soquel, California. He has been acknowledged especially for his wide-field photographs of the Milky Way nebulae and for public outreach, for which he has received Amateur Achievement Award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Besides this he has also captured and published wildlife images of endangered animals. He works as an American communications coach for professional executives, and is the founder of the Mandel Communications Inc., which aims to teach effective communication and public speaking.