Alister Ling contributes to our Centre in so many ways, that he could be a contender for a service award. However, this year his initiative to start a telescope clinic program fairly regularly at RASCO has put him over the top in Public Education. Alister lets people know (on Facebook and the Astro List) that he’ll available to help members of the public learn how to put together and use their telescopes. People then bring over their scopes and he trouble-shoots and helps them learn how to use them, saving the telescopes from being lost at the back of a dusty closet. This is an enormous effort that does a great amount of service to educate the public about astronomy and help them enjoy the night sky.
Bruce McCurdy has been a long-time member of the Centre, serving in just about every capacity on Council and in volunteering. In mid-2013, he took the reins of our Twitter feed and turned it into an excellent social media source of local astronomy news for the Edmonton area. His timely tweets about what’s in the skies over Edmonton, upcoming astronomy events, and thoughtful retweets keep more than 1400 followers informed and looking up. Often, Bruce’s multi-part tweets give our followers short astronomy lessons on topics like Earth’s changing seasons, orbital oddities, and why things in the sky look the way they do. To me, the way Bruce handles the twitter feed is an excellent example of how an astronomy club’s twitter presence should be: on point, timely, non-spammy, and educational. So in the parlance…
To @BruceMcCurdy, 4 a great @EdmontonRASC #astronomy feed for #yeg, I award the 2016 George Moores Memorial Award for Public Education.
Sherrilyn Jahrig has been an Observatory volunteer and summer contract worker since 1996. She was integral to our MarsWatch event in summer of 2003, one of the most successful outreaches in the deck’s history. The following spring she received the Nate Ragosin Memorial Award recognizing the volunteer of the year within TWoSE.
She has been involved in the BHDSP from concept in 2004 to realization to the current day. Earliest meetings that I can remember were at TWoSE in 2004. She was one of the main drivers on the RASC Edmonton Centre committee that got the Dark Sky Preserve up and running in 2006 – a major achievement that was recognized with the Centre’s public education award that year.
In the years since it was declared, Sherrilyn has served the Centre internally as our DSP Coordinator, and externally on the BHDSP Working Group — a group she chaired for a number of years. In both capacities she has been instrumental in organizing the annual BHDSP public star party at Elk Island NP &/or Miquelon Lake PP, including coordinating RASC volunteers who provide the lion’s share of humanpower for this event.
Besides Beaver Hills, Sherrilyn played a role in the declaration of Jasper Dark Sky Preserve and Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Preserve, ratified in 2011 and 2013 respectively. She has also been a driving force behind the Light Efficient Communities Coalition, a second partnership between RASCEC and other invested community groups which held extensive talks with the City of Edmonton to achieve the City’s Light Efficient Community policy in 2013.
Sherrilyn has championed the night sky in various other undertakings, which include artistic as well as scientific pursuits. These include a night sky photography exhibit she organized at City Hall and astronomy-themed artistic installations at Pyramid Lake Island at the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival.
It is for these impressive and long-standing efforts that I award the 2015 George Moores Memorial Award for Public Education to Sherrilyn Jahrig.
We’ve had a number of people stand out in this category over the last year but my mind eventually came to rest on two people that have done substantial work in organizing and/or getting out to many events. These two people stand as great examples of the RASC fulfilling the public education portion of its mandate. Whether it’s an event in the city, just outside of town, or well outside of town, they had their hands up many times to either join or be the lead at the event. It is for these efforts that I award the George Moores Memorial award for Public Education to two deserving members, Linda Mahoney and Clayton Knoll.
He is one of the “old timers” in the Centre, having been around since shortly after I was born, His enthusiasm is obvious. Each month he rakes through all the noise on the web and pulls out many interesting items for review at our meetings. While some of us have seen some of the stories, there are many others who benefit from the astronomical tidbits he presents, and it’s for this effort that he is being recognized.
This individual has taken on the daunting task of creating a brand new astronomy club for Camrose. Such an endeavour is time consuming, very impressive and shows a real commitment to public education. He has already put on a couple of public star nights in Camrose and even though the club is in its fledgling stages, I am sure that with this individual at the helm, the club will grow over the years. This year’s George Moores Award for Excellence in Public Education goes to Colin Peart.
This was a very easy choice this year. This group of people spent hundreds of hours organizing and volunteering their time for several events over the year. Without them, the events would not have been the incredible success they were. Through their monumental efforts, the International Year of Astronomy was a rousing success for Edmonton and brought Astronomy to the forefront for many Edmontonians. It is my great pleasure to present this year’s George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education to the IYA Committee and volunteers consisting of: Orla Aaquist, Cornelia Blunck, Harris Christian, Patrick Earl, Frank Florian, Sheldon Helbert, Doug Hube, Sherrilyn Jahrig, Franklin Loehde, Bruce McCurdy, Sharon Morsink, Ross Sinclair, Massimo Torri, and Luca Vanzella.
To recognize the efforts and hundreds of hours of every one of you that volunteered for an IYA event, I had a special certificate created for the IYA Volunteers that can perhaps hang in the Observatory. So in effect, everyone in the club can say they received this award this year. Great job everyone, and thank you!
This is another award where the efforts of a particular member have been overlooked. This member has been a fixture of our sidewalk astronomy efforts for many years. Except when scheduled to work, he always signs up for Astronomy Day and other sidewalk astronomy events. He has even been known to take the initiative of setting up his telescope on the Promenade on nice evenings to share the skies with passers-by. He is always willing to let others take a peek through his eyepiece and to explain what they are seeing. In all the years he has been doing this, he’s certainly provided many Galileo Moments to members of the public.
As it is now the International Year of Astronomy with one of the key initiatives to encourage more Galileo Moments it seems fitting to present the George Moores Award for Excellence in Public Education to Larry Wood.