The Thomas J. Brennan Award of the ASP is given each year to an individual demonstrating excellence in the teaching of astronomy at the high school level in North America. The recipients will have demonstrated exceptional commitment to classroom or planetarium education, as well as the training of other teachers. This award is designed to honor the practicing high school astronomy teacher. Occasionally, an individual outside of the secondary classroom, judged to have had a significant impact on high school astronomy teaching, is selected for this award. Nominators are urged to consider both practicing secondary astronomy teachers and those who have been involved in projects that have had widespread impact on high school astronomy teaching.
Nominees must be involved in activities relating to the teaching of astronomy at the high school level in the classroom or planetarium, in teacher training, and/or by other appropriate means.
Nominations are solicited from colleagues, students, or others familiar with or knowledgeable of the nominee’s achievements. Nominations may be made by anyone except the nominee or someone from the nominee’s family. The nominator should submit a resume or CV of the nominee, along with a letter of no more than two pages explaining in detail the specific contributions and achievements of the nominee that merit the Award. In addition to the nomination letter, we request that two independent letters of support (also no more than two pages each), be submitted for each nomination. All nominations will be considered for three consecutive award cycles – the year in which the nomination is made and the two following cycle years. After the third cycle year a completely new nomination of the individual may be submitted.
The Thomas J. Brennan Award, beginning in 2018, will be awarded biennially. However due to the 2020 Awards being canceled, the Brennan Award will next be given in 2021.For a new nomination to be considered in any particular year, all nomination documents must be received by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific by March 1 of that year.
All nominations are reviewed by the Awards Committee appointed by the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. The Awards Committee recommends a recipient of the Award to the Board of Directors, which then makes the final selection. The Award recipient will be notified in the summer of the award year. If, in the opinion of the Awards Committee, none of the nominees is sufficiently outstanding, or if there are an insufficient number of nominations, the Award will not be given for the year in question.
The Award includes a $500 cash award, an award plaque, and travel expenses to attend the ASP Awards Gala.
Nominations for the Thomas J. Brennan Award are now being accepted through March 1, 2021
Contact the Awards team if you have any questions or need more information.