Astronomical Society of the Pacific

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The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) was founded in February 1889, the first national astronomical organization to be established in the United States. Although its name was a reminder of its origins on the Pacific Coast, it soon drew members from around the country and the world.

In 1989, the ASP celebrated its Centennial by buying a building as its home and holding a large national meeting at the University of California, Berkeley. (The late Carl Sagan of Cornell University was the public keynote speaker, and quickly sold out the largest hall on campus.) Certificates and letters of congratulations were received from the President of the U.S., the Governor of California, and many other political and scientific leaders. Also, the International Astronomical Union named Asteroid 2848 Asteroid ASP, in honor of the Society’'s work in education and public outreach.

Annual Awards

The ASP recognizes individual achievements in astronomy research, technology, education, and public outreach each year. The nomination process commences in the fall, and nominees are welcome from ASP Members and members of the astronomical community. Descriptions of the awards and links to the award pages are listed below.

  • Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal

Awarded since 1898 for a lifetime of outstanding research in astronomy. The ASP's highest award is the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal, awarded for a lifetime of outstanding research in astronomy. Awarded since 1898, the medal has gone to some of the greatest astronomers of the past century.

  • Richard H. Emmons Award

For excellence in college astronomy teaching. Added to our list of honors in 2006, the Richard H. Emmons Award was inspired by a very generous gift from Jeanne and Allan Bishop, in honor of her father, Richard Emmons. Dr. Jeanne Bishop, a well-known astronomy educator in her own right, wished to honor her father, an astronomer with a life-long dedication to astronomy education, by creating an annual award that recognizes and celebrates outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors.

  • Amateur Achievement Award

For significant observational or technical achievements by an amateur astronomer. The Amateur Achievement Award recognizes significant observational or technological contributions to astronomy or amateur astronomy by an individual not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity.

  • Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award

For outstanding outreach by an amateur astronomer to children and the public. The Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award, given for the first time in 2001, seeks to honor outstanding educational outreach by an amateur astronomer to K-12 children and the interested lay public.

  • Klumpke-Roberts Award

For outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. The ASP bestows the annual Klumpke-Roberts Award on those who have made outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. Awardees include Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Chesley Bonestall, Timothy Ferris, Walter Sullivan, Heidi Hammel, and the staffs of Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazines.

  • Robert J. Trumpler Award

For a recent Ph.D. thesis considered unusually important to astronomy. The Robert J. Trumpler Award is given each year to a recent recipient of the PhD degree in North America whose research is considered unusually important to astronomy.

  • Thomas J. Brennan Award

For exceptional achievement related to the teaching of astronomy at the high school level. The Thomas J. Brennan Award recognizes excellence in the teaching of astronomy at the high school level in North America. The recipients have demonstrated exceptional commitment to classroom or planetarium education, as well as the training of other teachers.

  • Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award

For important research results based upon development of groundbreaking instruments and techniques. The Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award is given for recent significant observational results made possible by innovative advances in astronomical instrumentation, software, or observational infrastructure.

  • Priscilla and Bart Bok Award

Bart Bok was an outstanding research astronomer who made important contributions to our understanding of the Milky Way and of star formation. He received the Bruce Medal for lifetime achievement and in 1982 the Klumpke-Roberts Award for the popularization of astronomy. Throughout his life, and especially as an ASP Board member, Bok was a strong advocate for outreach and education in astronomy. Upon his death in 1983, the Society established the Bart Bok Memorial Fund to support educational projects. At the suggestion of the AAS, the activitivies supported by the Bok Fund were expanded to include the joint sponsorship of an astronomy award at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair.

Location and Contact Information

Astronomical Society of the Pacific 390 Ashton Avenue San Francisco, CA 94112

Phone: (415) 337-1100 U.S. toll free 1-800-335-2624 Fax: (415) 337-5205

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