The Astronomical Society of the Pacific Announces Its 2018 Award Recipients for Astronomy Research and Education

Aug 14, 2018 | Uncategorized

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one of the oldest, innovative, and respected organizations in the U.S. dedicated to increasing the understanding and teaching of astronomy, is proud to announce the recipients of its 2018 awards for excellence in astronomy research and education.

The awards will be formally presented at the ASP Awards Gala (Ceremony and Banquet) on November 10, 2018, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Burlingame, CA.

More information about the ASP’s awards and past recipients can be found at

Maria and Eric Muhlmann Award
Dr. Pieter van Dokkum

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. The 2018 recipient of the Muhlmann Award is Pieter van Dokkum for the development of a novel means to measure very diffuse and faint structures in the sky.

Robert J. Trumpler Award
Dr. Benjamin J. (BJ) Fulton

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.

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) is proud to award the 2018 Robert J.Trumpler Award to Dr. Benjamin J. (“BJ”) Fulton, a staff scientist at NExScI, based at IPAC, a science and data center for astronomy at Caltech. Dr. Fulton’s landmark doctoral dissertation focused on the discovery and categorization of extrasolar planets, and in particular smaller planets between the sizes of Earth and Neptune.

Amateur Achievement Award
Tan Thiam Guan

The Amateur Achievement Award recognizes significant observational or technological contributions to astronomy by an individual not employed in a professional capacity. The 2018 recipient is Tan Thiam Guan who has demonstrated an extraordinary record of accomplishment for an amateur astronomer, contributing serious professional work at the highest levels of quality.

Richard H. Emmons Award
Professor David Hurd

The Richard H. Emmons Award — established by Jeanne and Allan Bishop in honor of Ms. Bishop’s father, Richard Emmons, an astronomer with a lifelong dedication to astronomy education — is awarded annually to an individual demonstrating outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors. The 2018 recipient is Prof. David Hurd, of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.

Thomas J. Brennan Award
Peter Detterline

The Thomas J. Brennan Award is given to an individual demonstrating excellence in the teaching of astronomy at the high school level in North America. Peter Detterline, Planetarium Director and high school astronomy teacher for the Boyertown Area School District in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, is the 2018 recipient of the Brennan Award.

Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award
Don Ficken

Established by Wayne Rosing and Dorothy Largay, the Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award honors outstanding educational outreach by an amateur astronomer to K-12 children and the interested lay public. The 2018 recipient is Don Ficken, a member of the St. Louis Astronomical Society who has performed remarkable services in expanding the outreach programs of the society.

Recipient bios and more information can be found at



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