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2000 ASP Annual Award Recipients

Dr. Rashid A. Sunyaev

The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal
Dr. Rashid A. Sunyaev of the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik in Garching, Germany

The ASP's highest honor, the Bruce Medal is presented for a lifetime of outstanding research in astronomy. Sunyaev, also of the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences, is recognized by the Society for his fundamental, life-long contributions to astronomy. His theoretical work spans an enormous range and is the foundation of several major fields of current astrophysics. Together with Yakov ZelÎdovich, he was the first to realize that there should be marked features in the angular power spectrum of the cosmic microwave background, the leftover radiation hiss from the Big Bang, which can be used to measure cosmological parameters (and which were very recently used to show that the Universe is globally flat, as required by most models of inflation).

Jack F. Horkheimer

The Klumpke-Roberts Award
Jack F. Horkheimer, director, Miami Space Transit Planetarium, Miami, Florida

This award is presented in recognition of an individual's outstanding contributions to the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. Horkheimer is best known for his television show, "Star Gazer," which began in 1976 as "Star Hustler" and is now carried on over 200 public television stations, reaching an estimated 20 million viewers worldwide. Horkheimer's enthusiasm and energy have enticed many people to go outside and look at the sky and learn more about astronomy. He has also received awards from the Southeastern Planetarium Society and the European Planetarium Association, as well as the first NASA grant ever given for producing a planetarium program.

Dr. Jeffrey F. Lockwood

The Thomas J. Brennan Award
Dr. Jeffrey F. Lockwood, director, Astrobiology Curriculum Project for TERC, Cambridge, Massachusetts

This award is presented in recognition of exceptional achievement related to the teaching of astronomy at the high school level. Lockwood has written curriculum materials for such National Science Foundation programs as "Project STAR," "Hands-On Universe" and "Hands-On Astrophysics" while teaching high school astronomy and physics for 27 years at Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona. He served on the ASP's Board of Directors from 1990 to 1996, and he was the author of the long-running "Black Holes to Blackboards" column on astronomy education in the ASP's Mercury magazine.

Dr. Scott D. Burles

The Robert J. Trumpler Award
Dr. Scott D. Burles, University of Chicago (Illinois)

This award is presented to a recent Ph.D. recipient whose research is considered unusually important to astronomy. Burles received his Ph.D. in 1997 from the University of California, San Diego, for work with his advisor, David Tytler, on a precise measurement of the primordial deuterium-to-hydrogen abundance ratio and, hence, of the baryon density in the Universe. Prior to 1997, a large range of values had been reported for the primordial deuterium abundance, and the situation was very confused. In his dissertation, Burles convincingly demonstrated a relatively low value for the ratio using absorption lines in optical spectra of high-redshift quasars. The implied density of ordinary matter, about five percent of the critical density, provides compelling evidence for the existence of nonbaryonic dark matter because a number of astronomical observations show that the total matter density is 30% to 40% of critical. In turn, having the baryon density allows astronomers to make accurate predictions of the primordial abundances of the other light elements made shortly after the Big Bang.

Dr. Peter B. Stetson

The Maria & Eric Muhlmann Award
Dr. Peter B. Stetson, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

This award is presented for recent significant observational results made possible by innovative advances in astronomical instrumentation, software, or observational infrastructure. Stetson is the author of one of the most widely used and praised data reduction packages in astronomy. His DAOPHOT, first described in the astronomical literature in 1987, can precisely determine the brightnesses of point sources imaged with area detectors. It was specifically designed for measuring stars in very crowded, globular cluster fields. The development of DAOPHOT was as significant to the advances in the study of globular clusters as was the availability of CCDs. DAOPHOT has been steadily improved in the decade since its introduction with its latest incarnation, ALLFRAME.

Paul Boltwood

The Amateur Achievement Award
Paul Boltwood, Stittsville, Ontario, Canada

This award is presented in recognition of significant contributions to astronomy or amateur astronomy by those not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity. Paul Boltwood, an amateur astronomer for 40 years, is recognized for his individual accomplishments in the development of hardware and software for precise deep-sky imaging, his research on brightness variations in active galactic nuclei, and his studies of near-nucleus activity in Comet Hyakutake. In May, 1998, he obtained the deepest image ever obtained with amateur equipment, a V magnitude of 24.1 collected over a 20-hour period using a 40-cm, home-built telescope and CCD camera located in his backyard observatory in suburban Ottawa. What is notable about his accomplishments is the care and attention to detail he applies to his research. He has published numerous scientific papers and has collaborated with researchers at a number of institutions throughout the world.