User Name:
print-friendly version

Thomas Brennan Award for outstanding contributions to the teaching of astronomy in grades 9-12

Past Thomas Brennan Award recipients

Nomination Guidelines


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. Letters of nomination should highlight how the nominee has distinguished himself or herself in this endeavor and/or cite exceptional achievement. A summary of professional information relevant to the Brennan Award must be included with the nomination and support letters.


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. Nomination packets will be held and considered for three consecutive years. After the third year, an individual may be nominated again, but then a new nomination packet (updated with newly-dated support letters) must be submitted. Old nomination packets will not be kept on file. The nominator(s) should submit a letter (no more than two pages) giving strong support to the choice. In addition, we request that two independent letters of support be submitted for each nomination.

Due Date

Letters of nomination and the required materials must be received in the offices of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific on or before 15 February 2016.


The Award recipient will be selected by the Brennan Awards Committee appointed by the Board of Directors. If, in the opinion of the Committee, none of the nominees is sufficiently outstanding, the Award will not be given for the year in question. The winning nominee will be notified in summer of award year.

The Award

The Award consists of a plaque and a check for $500 to be presented at the Annual Meeting Awards Banquet.

Submitting Nominations

Use the nominations form to provide all necessary information and submit it by 15 February 2016.

Alternately, submit your nomination letter and any other material by 15 February 2016 to:

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

Contact awards {at} if you have questions or need more information.