Awards for 2021 George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education

Public Education is important because it is one of the key activities that the RASC Edmonton Centre delivers that qualifies the Centre for casino proceeds.

As everyone is aware, this pandemic has made it extremely difficult for any organization to fulfill their public education mandate, and the RASC Edmonton Centre unfortunately was no exception.

Nonetheless, in 2021 many organizations contemplated the idea of restarting their public oriented programming and one of those organizations was Tourism Jasper and the Jasper Dark Sky Festival (JDSF). Uncertainty as to whether or not the 2021 JDSF was actually a GO continued right up to only a couple of weeks before the event was to begin. Regardless of these, and many, many other challenges, the JDSF Committee quickly rose to the occasion. They assembled a team of volunteers, created an observing program, confirmed accommodations, planned meals and extracurricular activities and successfully delivered the RASC Night of Observing event! So it is with great pleasure that this years George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education goes to Marion and Alan Hobbs and Monica and Chris Meerveld.

Awards for 2020 George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education

2020 did not see much in the way of our traditional public education programs. The RASCO was closed most of the year, there was no in person events of any sort, so we had to improvise. One member in particular has done this very well in this unusual year. Whether it’s giving telescope help to guiding people through the observe the universe certificate requirements, all online, this member has shown a dedication to public education, which is part of our mission statement.

This year’s George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education goes to Alister Ling.

Awards for 2019 George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education

Public Outreach is near and dear to my heart. It was how I came to be involved in the activities of this center and how I got to know so many fine people. This member joined less than 10 years ago but quickly became involved in public outreach. He has organized numerous events and can always be counted on to give a talk man a booth or bring a scope to an event. He’s been our Public Education Director for the past few years and continues to do a superb job. The 2019 George Moore’s Memorial Award goes to Clayton Knoll.

Awards for 2017
George Moores Memorial Award for
Excellence in Public Education
Alister Ling

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.

Awards for 2016
George Moores Memorial Award for
Excellence in Public Education
Bruce McCurdy

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.

Awards for 2015
George Moores Memorial Award for
Excellence in Public Education
Sherrilyn Jahrig

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.

Awards for 2014
George Moores Memorial Award for
Excellence in Public Education
Linda Mahoney & Clayton Knoll

2014 George Moores Education - Linda Mahoney, Clayton KnollWe’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.