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Astronomical Society of the Pacific Honors Michael Greene, NASA JPL with the Andrew Fraknoi Supporters Award

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one of the oldest and most respected science education organizations in the U.S., has announced that Michael Greene is the 2015 recipient of its Andrew Fraknoi Supporters Award. 

Michael Greene

Greene is the Manager of Public Engagement at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California where he oversees communications and education programs involving social media, websites, video productions, science festivals, museums and science centers, and school and university outreach. Part of his responsibilities include oversight of the NASA Night Sky Network – an active and growing community of amateur astronomy clubs across the nation that look to the network for support as they engage the public in astronomy activities. The ASP is NASA’s partner in this project, providing member clubs in the Night Sky Network with on-line resources, tools, training, and kits.

Michael Greene has been one of the ASP’s most avid and enthusiastic champions and supporters. Since spearheading the establishment of the NASA Night Sky Network over a decade ago, Greene has been a tireless advocate of the ASP – ensuring the society receives the funding required to support over 450 amateur clubs interested in engaging the public in astronomy. Clubs in the network have access to over a dozen highly-tested education outreach toolkits, a wide array of NASA speakers, and an integrated website that is used by tens of thousands of members of the public in addition to the amateur astronomers.  To date, NSN clubs have reached well over 3 million people with their collective outreach efforts, and this number continues to grow.  Over 200,000 follow the Night Sky Network’s Facebook Page.  Greene has also championed the ASP’s Cosmos in the Classroom conference to help instructors who teach introductory astronomy around the country learn how to do a better job.

Other honors Greene has received include the 2012 NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, a 2011 Webby Award, ‘Best Science Site’ for Global Climate Change, a 2009 NASA Explorer Award for Achievement in Earth Science Communications, the 2006 NASA Exceptional Service Medal, and he has shared several NASA Honor Awards (for group achievement in astrophysics public engagement). He is a current and former trustee of several nonprofit boards and is also a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

About the Andrew Fraknoi Supporters Award

Each year, ASP staff identifies and honors an individual who has demonstrated exceptional service to and support of the organization with the Fraknoi Supporters Award. Andew Fraknoi was the Executive Director of the ASP for 15 years – yet his dedication and service to the Society has continued for almost 40 years. Fraknoi created Project ASTRO, a program that still trains and links volunteer astronomers with K-12 teachers in regional centers around the country. He also spearheaded the development of Family ASTRO providing games and kits to families with children so they can enjoy astronomy together. Today, Andrew Fraknoi organizes workshops and conferences about the teaching of astronomy, both at the K-12 and college level (Cosmos in the Classroom). Fraknoi also served as longtime editor of the ASP’s Astronomy Beat, a popular insider’s guide to diverse astronomy subjects, endeavors and professions.

About the ASP

Since its humble beginnings over 125 years ago, the ASP has evolved into one of the most recognized and well-respected nonprofit astronomy organizations in the country. Boasting diverse national programs endorsed by NASA and the NSF, publications, and awards designed to serve, empower, and recognize professional and amateur astronomers, as well as formal and informal educators, the ASP is unique in its mission to foster science literacy and share the excitement of exploration and discovery through astronomy. The ASP is headquartered in the Ingleside neighborhood of San Francisco, and is financially supported by donations, grants, corporate sponsorships, subscriptions, member dues, and retail sales.