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Annual Awards

2017 Bruce Gold Medal recipient

2016 ASP Award recipients

About the ASP 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

Our 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. Please follow this link to a complete list of prior Bruce Medal recipients. More information about the Bruce Medal can be found here.

The 2017 recipient is Dr. Nick Scoville, California Institute of Technology.

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. List of past recipients.

The 2016 recipients are Prof. Ian McLean, University of California Los Angeles, and Prof. Charles ‘Chuck’ Steidel, California Institute of Technology.

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. List of past recipients.

The 2016 recipient is Dr. Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Associate Dean at the University of Arizona College of Science.

Arthur B.C. Walker II Award

The Arthur B.C. Walker Award is presented to an outstanding African American (or member of the African Diaspora) who works in the areas of astronomy (including astronomy, astrophysics, space, and related sciences) as a recognized leader in efforts to diversify the scientific community. The ASP’s Arthur B.C. Walker II Award has been established to honor an outstanding scientist whose research and/or educational efforts substantially contribute to those fields and who has (1) demonstrated a substantial commitment to mentoring students from underrepresented groups pursuing degrees in astronomy and/or (2) been instrumental in creating or supporting innovative and successful STEM programs designed to support underrepresented students or their teachers.

The Arthur B.C. Walker II Award also includes an “Arthur B.C. Walker II Scholarship” which the recipient gives to a student of their choice. In addition, and perhaps even more important than the financial benefit, the prestigious scholarship from the ASP will help support the student’s academic and career goals.

The 2016 recipient is Katherine Johnson, former NASA Mathematician.

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. List of past recipients.

The 2016 recipient is Dr. Caroline Simpson, Florida International University.

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. List of past recipients.

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. List of past recipients.

The 2016 recipient is Gena Crook, Von Braun Astronomical Society (VBAS) of Huntsville, Alabama.

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. List of past recipients and granting institutions.

The 2016 recipient is Dr. Rachael L. Beaton, who completed her PhD in December of 2014 at the University of Virginia.

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. List of past recipients.

The 2016 recipient is Ms. Jacqueline Barge, Walter Payton College Preparatory High School, Chicago, Illinois.

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. List of past recipients.

Please contact awards {at} if you have questions about the nomination process.