Archive for 2005
Michael Gibbs Joins ASP as Chief Advancement Officer
October 2005 – We are delighted to announce that Michael Gibbs, Ed.D, has joined the ASP as Chief Advancement Officer. In keeping with the ASP’s increased emphasis on private and philanthropic fundraising, the board approved this new position several months ago and Michael was selected after a nationwide search.
Michael comes to us from Saint Mary’s University of Winona, Minnesota, where he served as Vice President for Development. Prior to that, he spent several years at De Paul University in Chicago in increasingly responsible positions, most recently as Assistant Vice President in the Office of University Initiatives. He brings to the ASP an extensive background in institutional advancement, development, and fundraising at the local, regional, and national levels.
Paula Szkody Appointed Editor of PASP
September 2005 – The Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific is pleased to announce that Dr. Paula Szkody has been appointed Editor of the Publications of the ASP, effective January 1, 2006. Read more about Dr. Szkody.
The Mars Exploration Rover Mission: A Year of Exploration and Discovery
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol (SETI Institute)
Listen (mp3 file, 18.3 MB)
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol is a planetary geologist who is a member of the Science Team for the Mars Exploration Rover mission. She specializes in exploring regions of Earth that resemble Mars (including Licancabur, the highest lake on our planet). She was instrumental in the selection of one of the landing sites for the Mars rovers and is busily analyzing images and data from the mission. In this 2005 lecture, she gave an early progress report on the work of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, and some of their discoveries about the red planet.
2005 Bruce Medal Awarded
May 17, 2005 – The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) announced today that the 2005 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal has been awarded to Dr. Robert Kraft of the University of California, Santa Cruz. The prestigious Bruce Medal is the highest honor awarded by the ASP. Honoring a lifetime of fundamental contributions to the field of astronomy, the Medal has been awarded annually since 1898. Read more on Dr. Kraft and the winners of the ASP’s seven other annual awards.
ASP Receives Major Grant
May 2005 – The ASP has been awarded a major grant from the Informal Science Division of the National Science Foundation. The four-year program, entitled “Astronomy From the Ground Up,” calls for the ASP and its project partners to improve the capacity of dozens of smaller science centers and science museums to bring astronomy to their audiences, through improved staff training, materials, and professional development. More details on this exciting new project can be found for our members in the May/June issue of Mercury under “Last Word”.
Estimating the Chances of Life Out There
Dr. Frank Drake (SETI Institute, University of California, Santa Cruz)
Listen (mp3 file, 16.9 MB)
In 1961, Dr. Drake proposed an intriguing method of estimating the number of intelligent life-forms out there that we might communicate with, now called the Drake Equation. In this talk, Dr. Drake provides a modern update on estimates for the existence of “E.T.” He draws on new ideas and new observations (including the discovery of surprising planets around other stars), which have helped astronomers refine both the targets where they search for life and the methods they use.
Dennis Schatz Receives NSTA Award
March 2005 – ASP President, Dennis Schatz, to receive NSTA’s Distinguished Service to Science Award at the NSTA Convention in Dallas, Texas April 2, 2005. Schatz receives this award in recognition for his contribution to science education. He is currently Vice President for Education and Exhibits at the Pacific Science Center, the major informal science museum in Seattle, WA. He has been one of the key managers of that institution since 1980, guiding major exhibits that traveled around the US, overseeing a number of influential outreach programs and co-chairing LASER, a statewide science teaching improvement program for Washington state.
ASP Announces New Board of Directors
March 2005 – ASP Announces new Board of Directors Officers for 2005. Dennis Schatz of the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington now serves as ASP President and joining him is James Kaler, of James B. Kaler of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, as the new Vice-President. Both serve these positions until March 2007. Catharine Garmany of NOAO joins our distinguished list of Past-Presidents and looks forward to remaining very active in the ASP.