Western Amateur Astronomers


    The G. Bruce Blair Medal is the highest honor which the Western Amateur Astronomers(WAA) can bestow upon an individual.
    It is the "Nobel Prize" of amateur astronomy and is awarded to a living professional or amateur astronomer who has made an important contribution to amateur astronomy.

    Candidates are voted on by secret ballot eliminating the lowest candidates until one candidate and an alternate candidate are selected at the Winter Board Meeting of the Western Amateur Astronomers. All nominees are held in confidence until this award is accepted.

  1954         Mr. Albert G. Ingalls            ATM pioneer and author. of ATM 1, 2 and 3.
  1955         Prof. Walter H. Haas             Founder of ALPO, Co-founded WAA.
  1956         Dr. Otto Struve                  Leading 20th Century astronomy popularizer.
  1957         Dr. Margaret Mayall              Director  AAVSO 1949-1973.
  1958         Dr. Dinsmore Alter               Director Griffith Obs. & Co-founder of WAA Board.
  1959         Dr. Earle G. Linsley             Director Chabot Obs. 1923-1947 & Co-founder of EAS and WAA.
  1960         Mr. David Barcroft               ALPO secretary 1947-1974.
  1961         Mr. Carl Wells                   WAA founder and well known ATM.
  1962         Arthur & Natalie Leonard         Active participants of Moonwatch & WAA.
  1963         Mr. Thomas Cragg                 Solar, planetary, and variable star observer.
  1964         Mr. Walter Scott Houston         Author of "Deep Sky Wonders."
  1965         Dr. Clyde Tombaugh               Discoverer of the Planet Pluto.
  1966         Dr. Clarence P. Custer           Active in the WAA and famous astrophotographer.
  1967         Dr. Leslie C. Peltier            Famous comet and variable star observer.
  1968         Dr. David Dunham                 Long-time coordinator of grazing occultation observations.
  1969         Mr. Thomas R. Cave               Telescope Manufacturer and Mars observer.
  1970         Mr. Charles F. Capen             Expert observer, especially of Mars.
  1971         Mr. George A. Carroll            West coast builder of large telescopes.
  1972         Mr. Clinton Ford                 Long-time Secretary of the AAVSO.
  1973         Mr. Raymond Coutchie             Astronomical artist, astrophotographer, and author.
  1974         Mr. John Dobson                  Popularized the "Dobsonian" telescope design.
  1975         Mr. Clifford W. Holmes           Founded the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference.
  1976         Mr. Patrick Moore                Famous astronomical popularizer and author.
  1977         Mr. Frank Miller                 Very active in AANC and WAA organizations.
  1978         Mr. Jackson Carle                Well known Central Valley ATM.
  1979         Mr. Kingsley W. Wightman         Long-time teacher of Astronomy at Chabot Observatory.
  1980         Mr. Paul Zurakowski              Well known ATM; Director of Chabot ATM workshop.
  1981         Mr. Ashley Thomas McDermott      Professor and astronomy popularizer in southern California.
  1982         Mr. Douglas Berger               Founder of Astronomy Day.
  1983         Mr. John Sanford                 Astrophotographer, teacher and author.
  1984         Mr. Chesley Bonestall            Famous astronomical artist.
  1985         Ms. Betty Neall                  WAA secretary in 50s. Astronomical organizer in northern Calif.
  1986         Mr. Ben Mayer                    Famous west coast astrophotographer.
  1987         Mr. Jack Borde                   Long time ATM, and a participant in WAA, MDAS and Moonwatch.
  1988         Mr. Stephen J. Edberg            Famous international amateur astronomer.
  1989         Dr. Harold F. Weaver             ASP patron and long-time supporter of amateur astronomy.
  1990         Mr. David H. Levy                Teacher of young people, author and comet discoverer.
  1991         Dr. John Westfall                ALPO director & coordinator of Pro - Amateur research projects.
  1992         Mr. Kevin Medlock                Builder of large amateur telescopes.
  1993         Mr. Tom Johnson                  Celestron founder, popularizer of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes.
  1994                 (none)                                             (none)
  1995         Mr. Don Machholz                 Discoveror, observer and popularizer of comets.
  1996       Dr. Ed Krupp                       Director of Griffith Observatory and book author.
  1997       Mr. Robert Stevens                 Educator,  Secretary and Treasurer to RTMC.
  1998       Mr. Richard Berry                  Promoter of CCD astrometry, author of CCD Cookbook.
  1999       Mrs. Denni Frerichs Medlock        Past Secretary of WAA; Co-coordinator of Group 70.
  2000       Dr. Joel W. Goodman, PH.D.         Bay area amateur, speaker, Docent MDOA, ALPO Saturn Recorder.
  2001       Monsignor Ron Royer                Astrophotographer, early developer of tri-color photo process.
  2002       Dr. Mike D. Reynolds               Director of Chabot Space Science Center. Active amateur supporter.
  2003       Mr. F. Jack Eastman                Well known ATM, member of LAAS, DAS, advisor at Chamberlin Obsy.
  2004       Mrs. Jane Houston Jones            Past Pres. of AANC, writer, Cassini Senior Outreach Spec.at JPL
  2005       Dr. David L. Crawford              Teacher, co-founder of IDA, promotes sensible night lighting.
  2006       Johm Christopher "Chris" Butler    Artist, speaker. Program/exhibits director at Griffith Observatory.
  2007       Mr. Carter Roberts                 Bay area amateur, CSSC and RTMC board member, Long time Pres. EAS.
  2008       Ms. Marni Berendsen                Developer NASA/ASP Night Sky Network. Leads Project ASTRO,author.
  2009       Mike Simmons                       Past Pres-LAAS. Founded MWOA and AWOB. 100hrsofAstronomy Co-Chair.
  2010       Mr. Robert K. Buchheim             Researcher, author, OCA Board Member/trustee, Board Member - SAS.
  2011       Scott  Roberts                     Amateur astronomer,formaer Meade rep. owner of Explore Scientific.
  2012       Jim Benet                          OCA-Outreach Coordinator has reached more than 100K people in SoCal.
  2013       Albert J. Highe, PhD               Observer, ATM, telescope designer, speaker and member of TAC.
  2014       Richard Ozer                       Volunteer, administrator of GSSP, director of the EAS TMW, Treasurer for multiple organizations.
  2015       Timothy Thompson                   Volunteer, President of MPAS and LAAS, educator, speaker.


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