The NLSI is proud to announce that Dr. Duncan has won the prestigious Richard H. Emmons award for excellence in College astronomy teaching. The ASP presented this year’s award on Tuesday, August 2, 2011. The Richard A. Emmons Award is annually given to an individual demonstrating outstanding achievement in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors.
Dr. Duncan was recognized for his innovative use of new technologies such as “clickers” to convey new science concepts. Dr. Duncan is a national leader in presenting the excitement of scientific discoveries to the general public and a very popular speaker. He is the Director of the Astronomical Laboratories at the University of Colorado. He holds a B.S. (with honors) in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology, and a Ph. D. in Astrophysics from the University of California Santa Cruz/Lick Observatory.
Past winners of the Richard H. Emmons Award include: Alex Filippenko ( University of California, Berkeley; 2010), Chris Impey (University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona; 2008), Andrew Fraknoi (Foothill College, USA and ASP; 2007), Leo Connolly (California State University San Bernardino, 2006).
The award was presented at the Connecting People to Science conference hosted by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in partnership with the American Geophysical & Space Telescope Science Institute. This national conference on science education and public outreach was held July 30-August 3, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.
About Dr. Douglas Duncan:
Dr. Duncan is a national leader in presenting the excitement of scientific discoveries to the general public and a very popular speaker. At the age of 19 he became the youngest planetarium speaker ever hired at the Griffith Observatory in Hollywood, California. He has appeared on BBC television and on the National Public Radio Program All Things Considered, and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution. He has led groups of people in photographing Halley’s comet in South America, to total eclipses of the sun, and into the Arctic to photograph the aurora. In 1995 he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the country’s largest organization for amateur and professional astronomers, and from 1997-2002 he appeared regularly on the Chicago public radio station WBEZ.
He has worked as an instrument scientist on Hubble space telescope and was involved in the planning of the first women in astronomy conference. At the forefront of informal education he is the director of the Fiske planetarium in Colorado. He has pioneered a way to teach students the difference between real science and pseudoscience by assigning individual students pairs of websites that present contradictory information, and asking them to figure out what criteria to use to distinguish the real from the fake, then report back to class on their conclusions.
Among his avocations, Dr. Duncan counts hiking and exploring, mountaineering, and photography. He “grew up in” the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, and has traveled in the Alps, the Chilean Andes, the Himalayas and the Brazilian Amazon, as well as sea-kayaked along the coast of Alaska. In April, 1993, he traveled to the North Pole, and was elected to The Explorers Club (of New York).
Read more about Dr. Duncan at http://casa.colorado.edu/~dduncan
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) was founded in 1889 by a group of Northern California professional and amateur astronomers after joining together to view a rare total solar eclipse. The ASP’s earliest purpose was to disseminate astronomical information — a mission which has flourished with astronomers’ inexhaustible exploration of the universe. The ASP has become the largest general astronomy society in the world, with members from over 70 nations. The ASP Board of Directors and the Advisory Council are composed of members of the astronomical, educational, and amateur communities.
The Astronomical Society of the Pacific increases the understanding and appreciation of astronomy by engaging scientists, educators, enthusiasts and the public to advance science and science literacy. The ASP’s mission-based astronomy and space science education and public outreach activities work to promote science literacy through the enjoyment of astronomy. As part of the ASP’s work with the amateur astronomy community, the Society manages the NASA Night Sky Network. The Night Sky Network is a nationwide coalition of astronomy clubs bringing the science and inspiration of NASA’s missions to the public. This program, started in March 2004, provides outreach materials for amateur astronomy clubs and a forum for those involved in community outreach to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
For more information visit: http://www.astrosociety.org
Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff