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Every year, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) presents eight awards to the astronomy community including amateur astronomy and outreach, teaching astronomy at various levels, significant contributions to astronomy research, and to outstanding Ph.D thesis.
One of these awards is the Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award which honors “outstanding educational outreach by an amateur astronomy to K-12 children and the interested lay public.” The 2012 recipient of the award is Chuck McPartlin, the outreach coordinator of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit (SBAU). The SBAU won Astronomy magazine's “Out-Of-This-World” award in 2010 for outstanding outreach programs, which the ASP press release states “considered key in this selection was McPartlin’s dedicated outreach activities and programming spanning two decades.”
Having been to or working at a few of the same events as the SBAU, I can say that McPartlin and all of the SBAU is a fantastic group eager to share their enjoyment of the sky and usually draw large crowds during their full calender of events such as public star parties held all over the Santa Barbara area, science nights at local schools, special events such as the recent Solar eclipse and the transit of Venus (see images below of the excited crowd for the transit of Venus at a shopping center in Goleta), and more.
The award will be presented on August 7th at the annual ASP meeting in Tucson, Arizona.
Many congratulations to Chuck McPartlin for the very well deserved award!
(Above and below: Large crowds waiting to see Venus transit across the Sun on June 5th at the Camino Real shopping center in Goleta, CA. Photo by Mike Farris.)
(Wow, watching Venus move across the face of the Sun is awesome! Photo by Casey Henkle.)
(The SBAU's wheelchair accessible telescope. Photo by Casey Henkle.)
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