The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), the largest general astronomy society in the world and comprised of members from more than 70 nations, has selected Chuck McPartlin to receive the Las Cumbres Amateur Outreach Award.
This national award honors outstanding educational outreach to K-12 students and the public on the subject of astronomy by an individual not employed in the field. McPartlin, of Santa Barbara, is outreach coordinator for the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit (SBAU), the local astronomy club that, under his leadership, was selected as the top outreach club in the nation in 2011 by Astronomy Magazine.
McPartlin has been a member of the SBAU since 1988, and has been the driving force of the club ever since. A software engineer during the day, he converts into an encyclopedic astronomer during the night. For almost the past quarter-century he has conducted countless “Star Parties” in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and the Santa Ynez Valley, giving thousands of people a glimpse to the stars above.
On Aug. 7, McPartlin will receive his award at the annual National ASP Convention and Training Symposium in Tuscon.
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— Ruben Gutierrez is president of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit.