HAD 2018 Election

The HAD 2018 election is for the HAD Vice-Chair/Chair Elect and two At-Large positions on the HAD Executive Committee. Those elected will take office immediately after the HAD Business Meeting in January 2019. You will need your AAS username (which defaults to your membership number), and your password.


Instructions:

The 2018 election for HAD Vice-Chair and Committee Members is now open, and will close on Friday, 12 October 2018.

To vote, you will need your AAS member login ID (which defaults to your membership number), and your password. If you cannot remember your username, please contact membership@aas.org, call 202-328-2010 and press 4 to reach our membership department, or go to members.aas.org and click the “forgot my username” link.

Those elected will take office immediately after the HAD Business Meeting in January 2019.

Vice-Chair (vote for one):

  • Kevin Krisciunas
  • Terry D. Oswalt

At-Large Executive Committee Members (vote for two):

  • Rebecca A. Charbonneau
  • Roy Kilgard
  • Philip D. Nicholson
  • J. Allyn Smith
  • Jason E. Ybarra

Position statements for each of the candidates follow.

Current time: Tuesday, 11 December 2018, 05:06:05 pm EST (-05:00 GMT)

Voting opened: Friday, 21 September 2018, 03:00:00 pm EDT (-04:00 GMT)
Voting closed: Friday, 12 October 2018, 11:59:00 pm EDT (-04:00 GMT)

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Vice-Chair

Description:

The successful candidate will serve as HAD Vice-Chair from January 2019 to January 2021, HAD Chair from January 2021 to January 2023, and then Past Chair until January 2024. Full duties are listed in the HAD Bylaws. Current practice is to have the Vice-Chair in charge of soliciting and editing obituaries of deceased AAS members each year, and the Past Chair chairing the HAD Prize Committee.

Term Elected For: January 2019 - January 2021
Currently Serving: Alan Hirshfeld

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Kevin Krisciunas


Biography

Affiliations

Texas A&M University

Written Biography

Kevin Krisciunas has been a Lecturer at Texas A&M University since 2006. He obtained his BS in Astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1974, a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Chicago in 1976, and a Master’s Degree in Astronomy (1997) and Ph. D. in Astronomy (2000) from the University of Washington. You might know him from the first episode of the PBS television series The Astronomers, which debuted in 1991. In that episode Kevin gave a tour of the Keck Telescope at Mauna Kea and sang a song containing the names of the 88 constellations. In 1984 he published a German-to-English translation of The History of Astronomy from Herschel to Hertzsprung. In 1988 his book Astronomical Centers of the World was published. More recently (2013, 2016) he published two editions of a volume of interdisciplinary reading called A Guide to Wider Horizons. He has written on the history of nineteenth century Russian astronomy, the star catalogue of Ulugh Beg, and he wrote the biographical memoir on Otto Struve for the National Academy of Sciences. He also compiled a biographical index to the first 108 volumes of Sky and Telescope magazine (http://people.physics.tamu.edu/krisciunas/st.html).

Kevin has worked as a computer programmer and onboard operator for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (1977 to 1982), and has done software work for the Joint Astronomy Centre in Hilo, Hawaii (1982 to 1996), which was the headquarters for the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. He worked at Cerro Tololo Observatory, Las Campanas Observatory, and as a research professor at the University of Notre Dame. Kevin’s research has involved the search for evidence for a central engine in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, the discovery of a new class of pulsating stars (the prototype is ? Doradus), and optical and infrared observations of supernovae. He is the first author or coauthor of 117 refereed scientific publications, and the author or coauthor of many more non-refereed papers.

Candidate Statement

Having been a full member of the AAS and of the Historical Astronomy Division since the inception of the latter in 1979, I would consider it an honor to serve as Vice Chair and subsequently as Chair of HAD. At the previous AAS meeting in Seattle there was a panel discussion on the preservation of historical artifacts at Yerkes, Lick, and Mount Wilson Observatories. I would pursue sources of funding and volunteers to help preserve this important material. I strongly support the continuing efforts to write obituaries of our colleagues who are no longer with us. In this era of video technology, we should start a YouTube channel that brings to life characters important in the history of astronomy. Why not arrange an interview with actress Rachel Weisz, who played Hypatia in the 2009 movie Agora? Woody Sullivan is all tooled up to role play William Herschel for another interview. So many other examples come to mind, such as Ptolemy, Galileo, Edwin Hubble, Harlow Shapley, and others. Some of these could be dialogues or panel discussions like Steve Allen’s program Meeting of Minds, which aired on PBS from 1977 to 1981.

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Terry D. Oswalt


Biography

Affiliations

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Written Biography

Terry Oswalt is Chair of the Physical Sciences Department at the Daytona Beach campus of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He earned his Ph.D. in Astronomy at The Ohio State University in 1981, specializing in studies of binary star systems, stellar evolution, minor planets, and comets. During his career Oswalt has taught a wide variety of physics and astronomy courses and served in several administrative posts, while continuing his primary research interest in studies of white dwarfs.

Terry is the founding Chairman of the Southeast Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), a consortium of fifteen institutions (lead by ERAU) which operates remote-access telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, and Roque de los Muchachos in the Canary Islands. He was director of the SARA summer internship program, which brought undergraduate students from around the U.S. to do research at the SARA facilities between 1995 and 2012. In recognition of his astronomical research and work in founding the SARA consortium, Dr. Oswalt was named the 2010 Florida Academy of Science Medalist.

An active member of HAD since 2008, Terry has been a Harlow Shapley Lecturer for over twenty years and has served on numerous AAS committees. He is currently a member of several IAU Commissions, including Commission C3 (History of Astronomy), has served as Councilor for the Physics and Astronomy Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research for nearly two decades, and has been a program officer for the Astronomical Sciences Division at the National Science Foundation. Terry is author or co-author of over 220 scientific articles and has edited nine astronomy books including, most recently, the six-volume reference series Planets, Stars and Stellar Systems, an updated version of the classic Stars and Stellar Systems series.

Candidate Statement

If elected Vice-Chair of HAD, my priority will be on increasing our Division’s membership and cultivating an appreciation for the history of our discipline among the general AAS membership, students and the public. We especially need to engage more early career astronomers (especially those in "nontraditional" positions) in HAD activities and to increase our Division’s interaction with the AAS Council. I have a special interest in the preservation of astronomical data and would like our Division to expand our leadership role in this area by helping to preserve the most historically and scientifically important documents of former astronomers.

As the astronomical community prepares for a new generation of ground- and space-based facilities and a decadal study of scientific priorities, our Division can provide a useful historical perspective to the relevant planning committees. I am eager to serve if elected for this office!

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HAD Committee Member

Description:

The successful candidates will serve on the HAD Committee along with the Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and Past Chair. The Committee is responsible for managing the Division.

Term Elected For: January 2019 - January 2021
Currently Serving: Pedro Rapso and Robert Stencel

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J. Allyn Smith


Biography

Affiliations

Austin Peay State University

Written Biography

Dr. J. Allyn Smith is a Professor of Physics, Engineering, and Astronomy at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN. Dr. Smith received his B.S. in General and Molecular Biology (1975), an M.S. in Space Sciences (1979), another M.S. in Space Technology (1984), and a Ph.D. in Space Sciences (1997) all from the Florida Institute of Technology. He worked at Kennedy Space Center for 15 years: most of that time with Rockwell Space Transportation Systems and Lockheed Space Operations Company as an Orbiter Test Conductor. After returning to school for his Ph.D. he held a post-doctoral position at the University of Michigan where he was responsible for development of the SDSS standard star network. He has been a Visiting faculty member at the University of Wyoming and spent four years at Los Alamos National Lab before joining Austin Peay in 2006. He is the President-Elect of the Tennessee Academy of Sciences; the newly elected Vice-Chair of IAU Commission B-6 (Astronomical Photometry and Polarimetry); and a council member of the Council on Undergraduate Research Physics & Astronomy Division. His research interests are primarily in white dwarf studies, large survey calibration, and open cluster studies.

Candidate Statement

During the past decade I have developed an interest in the history of astronomy and the older techniques of astronomy, and a special interest in the preservation of older astronomical data. These are valuable resources which cannot be replaced if lost. I believe the HAD should expand our leadership role in this area by helping to preserve the most historically and scientifically important documents of former astronomers. This is of high enough importance that the IAU just held a referendum on expediting the digitization of historical data at the GA in Vienna. We should seek collaborations with other astronomical organizations, historical societies, media, and funding agencies to preserve these data for the history of astronomy. Planning for the future, which will someday be historic, we should develop in-roads with the large surveys to ensure documentation of the procedures and anecdotes of the operations. The new data should be automatically preserved with current media. I am willing to serve if elected for office in the American Astronomical Society.

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Roy Kilgard


Biography

Affiliations

Wesleyan University

Written Biography

Roy Kilgard is an astronomer at Wesleyan University. He earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Leicester with research emphasizing X-ray binary populations. At Wesleyan, Roy is the co-head of a project to document the history of astronomy at Wesleyan's Van Vleck Observatory and throughout the region entitled "Under Connecticut Skies". In addition to the design and installation of a permanent historical exhibition in the VVO library, the project includes digitization of thousands of photographs and supporting documents, cataloging of thousands of photographic plates and physical artifacts, collection of oral histories, development of digital interactives, and extensive outreach. Roy also oversaw the successful restoration and modernization of the 20-inch Alvan Clark refractor at VVO, which is now used multiple times per week for outreach. When not engaged with high energy astrophysics or historical research, Roy is an incurable nit-picker of sci-fi minutiae. This has infected his teaching, leading him to design courses on the intersection of science fiction and astronomy, and his outreach, with regular appearances as an invited guest at sci-fi conventions.

Candidate Statement

Although not trained as a historian, I found my passion for history of astronomy through immersion in the rich archives of the Van Vleck Observatory at Wesleyan. One of my driving goals for the last decade has been finding unique ways to tell the stories of the people who passed through our observatory: astronomers who spent frigid nights taking parallax observations, women computers who performed the complex calculations, generations of students who studied the heavens. I have recreated a 100-year-old public talk in astronomy (complete with vintage lantern slides and 3-piece suit), helped kids compose music using star charts the way the experimental composer John Cage developed his work "Atlas Eclipticalis", and had students attempt celestial navigation from the deck of a 17th century Dutch ship using 3D printed quadrants. Through collaboration with historian colleagues, I have learned that history is a living thing, happening now. In the digital age when all correspondence is ephemeral, it is all the more important to chronicle the present for future generations. As a member of the HAD executive committee, I will be committed to a broad view of history, including the modern, and to telling the stories of the people whose lives have been affected by astronomy.

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Philip D. Nicholson


Biography

Affiliations

Cornell University

Written Biography

I am running for one of the two At-large positions on the HAD Executive Committee. A planetary astronomer by training, I have always had an amateur interest in the history of science, and in particular the history of astronomy. Although I have only been a member of HAD for a few years, I have been a professor of Astronomy at Cornell University since 1982, and have twice served as Chair of the AAS Division for Dynamical Astronomy. I am a member of the AAS, DPS, DDA and HAD. From 1998 until 2017 I served as Editor in Chief of the journal Icarus and, starting this year, I have agreed to become the Editor of the third edition of the Biographic Encyclopedia of Astronomers, published by Springer.

Candidate Statement

My interest in serving on the HAD Committee is to strengthen the relationship between the research, teaching and historical wings of the astronomical community and to remind our colleagues — especially the younger ones — of the background of our field and how it has developed over the decades. To that end I am in favor of regular historical sessions at other meetings (such as that planned for the DPS meeting this year in Knoxville), as well as arranging visits to places of historical significance. (At the recent DDA meeting in San Jose there was an excellent guided tour of Lick Observatory hosted by the local staff, with a strong emphasis on the observatory’s establishment in the mid-19th century. Several years ago, a walking tour of the USNO facilities was a highlight of a DDA meeting in Washington DC. Such tours have been less common at DPS meetings, though many have been held in Pasadena within an hour’s drive of Mt Wilson.)

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Jason E. Ybarra


Biography

Affiliations

Bridgewater College

Written Biography

Dr. Jason E. Ybarra is an assistant professor of physics at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Prior to coming to Bridgewater, Ybarra was a postdoctoral fellow at the Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) characterizing mid-infrared emission from star-forming regions, studying protostellar outflows, and developing statistical methods for cluster analysis. He earned a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Florida where he was awarded a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program (GSRP) fellowship and a NASA Florida Space Grant Consortium fellowship. He received a M.S. in Physics from San Francisco State University, where as a graduate student, he co-discovered the first observational evidence of a precessing jet carving out a protostellar envelope.

At Bridgewater College, Ybarra teaches a wide range of physics and astronomy courses, maintains an active research program, and coordinates the public astronomy night. His research interests include star formation, astrostatistics, physics education, and the history of physics and astronomy. He was awarded and maintains external collaborator status on multiple projects for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV) APOGEE-2 survey. Recently, he wrote the May 2018 post for the HAD "This Month in Astronomical History" column.

Candidate Statement

As an early career astronomer, I am interested in working to attract younger members to HAD, and increasing membership diversity. I am also interested in developing and fostering an interest in the history of astronomy among both astronomers and the general public. My recent activities include giving public talks focusing on the history and development of astronomy, and contributing to the HAD "This Month in Astronomical History" column. If elected, I will work hard to develop and support initiatives that promote history in astronomy, that make it more accessible, and that provide educational resources.

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Rebecca A. Charbonneau


Biography

Affiliations

National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Cambridge University

Written Biography

Rebecca A. Charbonneau is a historian of science who specializes in international space relations, radio astronomy, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. She earned a Master of Science degree in History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Oxford in 2017. Rebecca then interned at the NASA History Office at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., before beginning a position in the archives of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, where she worked closely with Ken Kellerman on a variety of tasks, including a research project documenting the history of the Square Kilometre Array. In autumn 2018 Rebecca will begin working towards her PhD in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

Candidate Statement

I am excited by the opportunity to join the Historical Astronomy Division Executive Committee as an At-Large member, and have many ideas on how to continue the success of HAD within the American Astronomical Society. Having spent this past year working at NASA and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory has given me hands-on experience in navigating scientific institutions as a historian. It has also shed light on the many ways astronomers view the history of their craft, and how these views complement and differ from the manner in which historians document it. As a HAD committee member, I would aim to continue to uphold HAD's role in negotiating the relationship between the history of astronomy and its present practice. Additionally, I believe education and public outreach are some of the most important aspects of a historian of science's job. In the past, I have aimed to promote public outreach by writing articles on history of astronomy subjects on platforms geared towards general audiences, such as the NRAO blogs, the NASA History Quarterly, and HAD's "This Month in Astronomical History". I also currently serve as a NASA Solar System Ambassador, and give talks on history of aerospace and astronomy to students and the general population. I believe HAD is moving in the right direction by implementing the "This Month in Astronomical History" column, but I think more can be done to engage audiences outside of the AAS. I am also especially passionate about engaging those within populations who historically have not had wide representation within astronomy.

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