The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), one of the oldest and most respected science education organizations in the U.S., has announced the recipients of its prestigious annual awards recognizing individuals for their leadership in and advancement of astronomy and space science.
Richard H. Emmons Award for excellence in teaching college-level astronomy to non-science majors to Dr. Laurence Marschall from Gettysburg College. After establishing the year-long astronomy sequence at the college, Marschall’s courses evolved into the most popular lab-science courses on campus. He incorporated peer-learning years before such techniques became standard fare, and draws from history, literature, current events, and multimedia. He also initiated plans for the campus observatory, a facility that welcomes both science non-science majors. In addition, and in advance of others, he saw the untapped potential for bringing digital imaging technology into the introductory astronomy curriculum. His idea became Project CLEA, a set of laboratory exercises that have revolutionized the teaching of introductory astronomy by having undergraduate students observe the sky, record data, and analyze that data. Project CLEA became the longest-running program funded by the astronomy education section of the National Science Foundation.