SJAA Ephemeris March 2006 | SJAA Home | Contents | Previous | Next

EAS Awards JVN on March 12th

Mike Koop


Eastbay Astronomical Society will award Jim Van Nuland the Helen Pillans Award for 2006. This prestigious award is given to an individual or institution that has meritoriously served the amateur astronomy community. The award was first given to Helen Pillans, a popular faculty member at Mills College and Amateur Telescope Maker. Jim is recognized by the EAS for his direction of the SJAA school star party program over the last 20 years. Starting in the late Eighties, Jim and other SJAA members had an informal group which would go to local schools and set up their telescopes. Through word of mouth, other teachers started making requests for visits by the astronomers. In response to all the increasing requests, the board officially appointed Jim the School Star Party Chairman in November of 1996. Since then, Jim has meticulously scheduled, provided direction to, and notified members about the events. His van often is the marker used to show where to set up the scopes. It is the primary outreach effort done by the SJAA. Last year, there were over 60 events scheduled by Jim which were attended by over 10 thousand students through out Santa Clara County and the bay area! Previous Pillan Award winners include SJAA Members Jane Houston Jones and both Kevin and Denni Medlock.

The Helen Pillans Award is the highlight of the annual EAS Banquet. It is held at the Chabot Space and Science Center on Sunday March 12th. Doors open at 5:45, with dinner served at 6:30. The guest speaker this year is Nobel Laureate Dr. Charles H. Townes, on the subject of "The Parallelism and Eventual Convergence of Science and Religion." All SJAA Members, friends, and family are invited to attend. The cost is $33 per person. Go to the EAS website to sign up. Congratulations Jim on your well deserved award!


Previous | Contents | Next