The Merit Award
The valuable data processed and distributed by the AAVSO to astronomers throughout the
world is obtained from volunteer observers. Their constant watch over variable stars is a
satisfying activity which results in a genuine contribution to astronomy. There are many
observers whose contributions to the AAVSO have gone beyond observing to other
activities as well. The Association shows its gratitude to such individuals by presenting
them with a Merit Award, an illuminated scroll and citation listing their contributions. This award is presented to any member who, by majority vote of the AAVSO Council, is deemed to have made an outstanding contribution as an observer, or as a long-standing benefactor. The
following is a list giving the names of the AAVSO Merit Award recipients together with the
citations inscribed on their award.
38) 2006 - Louis Cohen
"... in recognition of his
outstanding service as Treasurer and as a trusted, steady advisor to the
Directors throughout a period of fiscal and administrative uncertainty; and
his guidance in reinvesting and restructuring the AAVSO's endowments, assuring
the Association's financial security. His excellence in service, volunteerism,
willingness to share knowledge and mentor observers, and his valued
observations exemplify the ideals of the AAVSO."
|Arne presents Martha Hazen with the 37th Merit Award.|
37) 2005 - Martha L. Hazen
"... in recognition of her outstanding service to the AAVSO
during many years as Councilor, President, and Secretary, recognizing that
she always reflected wisely on the long-term needs of the association and
its members and offered sound counsel, especially to the presidents and the
Director, and technical support to AAVSO observers while assisting in many
QuickTime movie of Award Presentation to Martha Hazen (10 MB)
36) 1995 - Thomas R. Williams
|Thomas Williams earns the AAVSO Merit Award in 1995.|
"..in recognition of his strong and dedicated leadership
as AAVSO President and Council Member, his extensive research into the history
of amateur astronomers' contributions to astronomy and the AAVSO, and his
support of and many contributions to the goals of the Association, including
his tireless and productive efforts as Chair of the AAVSO Futures Study Group."
35) 1993 - John R. Percy
"..in recognition of his service as Council Member since 1982;
as President from 1989 to 1991; his significant contributions to the AAVSO
Photoelectric Photometry Program, including ten years as Editor of its
Newsletter; as Co-Editor of the Proceedings of the First AAVSO European
Meeting; and his tireless promotion of variable star astronomy and the AAVSO
in the astronomical community."
34) 1993 - Charles A. Whitney
"..in recognition of over eighteen years of service as
Editor of the Journal of the AAVSO; his leadership and thoughtful contributions
to marked improvements in the content, appearance, and production of the
Journal during that period; his efforts to fund and produce special editions of
the Journal; and his continuous support of the goals of the AAVSO."
33) 1991 - Theodore H. N. Wales
"...in recognition of his loyalty and devotion to the Association, his untiring support in financial
management and advice in over twelve years of service as AAVSO Treasurer, and his many other
contributions to the Association as a member of the Council and a volunteer at Headquarters."
32) 1988 - Edward A. Halbach
"...in recognition of his outstanding record of over 50,000 observations contributed during 54 years
of faithful AAVSO membership, his long-standing devotion to the ideals and purposes of the
Association, his generous contribution of time and effort in constructing essential office furniture
at the new Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his valuable work in the preparation
31) 1987 - Carolyn J. Hurless — (posthumously)
"...in recognition of her great devotion to the AAVSO and its aims and purposes; her outstanding
contribution of over 79,000 observations; her services as AAVSO Council member for several
terms and as Vice President from 1967 to 1973; her institution and editorship of the informal
publication Variable Views ; her correspondence encouraging new observers overseas, establishing
her as an international ambassador of good will among variable star observers; and her boundless
enthusiasm for observing variable stars which she transmitted to others."
30) 1987 - Howard J. Landis
"...in recognition of his long-standing, supportive membership; his extensive contributions of
photoelectric observations; his Chairmanship of the Photoelectric Photometry Committee; his
valuable encouragement of new observers/photometrists; his assistance in computerizing AAVSO
photometric data; and his services as AAVSO Council member for several terms."
29) 1987 -Arthur J. Stokes
"...in recognition of his long-standing, faithful membership; his contributions as a pioneer in the
establishment of the AAVSO Photoelectric Photometry Committee, serving as Chairman of this
Committee for over ten years, preparing the Observing Manual for photoelectric photometry
work, and organizing observing programs; and his services as AAVSO Council member for
several terms, and as AAVSO President from 1983 to 1985."
28) no award
27) 1986 - F. Lancaster Hiett
"...in recognition of his faithful membership since 1936, his devotion to and support of the goals of
the Association, and his continuous observing record for fifty years resulting in over 90,000
observations of variable stars."
26) 1986 - M. Daniel Overbeek
"...in recognition of his dedicated devotion to observing variable stars in the southern sky since
1952 resulting in over 70,000 observations of variable stars, his excellent guidance of many variable
star observers in South Africa, and his valuable service on the AAVSO Council."
25) 1986 - Thomas A. Cragg
|Edward Oravec receives the Merit Award in 1985.|
"...in recognition of his 41 years of active membership, his Chairmanship of the AAVSO Cepheid
Committee, his valuable service on the AAVSO Council, and his dedicated observing since 1945,
yielding over 109,000 observations of variable stars."
24) 1985 - Edward G. Oravec
"...in recognition of his faithful membership since 1946, his valuable service as Councillor and
President, and his continuous dedicated observing since 1942, yielding over 120,000 observations
of variable stars."
23) 1983 - John E. Bortle
"...in recognition of his twenty years of active membership, his long observing record for the
AAVSO, his valuable service on the AAVSO Council and Committees, and for his work in
instituting and editing the AAVSO Circular since 1970."
22) 1981 - Charles E. Scovil
"...in recognition of his outstanding work as the preparer of the AAVSO Variable Star Atlas, his
long service in the photography and determination of sequences for the new "AAVSO Variable
Star Atlas", his contributions as President, Associate Editor of the Journal of the AAVSO, and
Co-Editor of the AAVSO Circular, his long and valuable observing record, and his faithful
devotion to the ideals of the Association."
|Charles Scovil receives the Merit Award in 1981.|
21) 1980 - Marvin E. Baldwin
"...in recognition of his eighteen years of active membership, his long observing record, his
valuable direction of the AAVSO Committees on Eclipsing Binary and RR Lyrae type variable
stars, and his two terms of loyal service as President of the Association."
20) 1971 - Richard H. Davis
"...his untiring loyalty and devotion to the Association, his competent and faithful service as
treasurer for the past ten years, his valuable legal counsel, and his service to the Solar Division."
19) 1965 - Ralph N. Buckstaff
"...in recognition of his outstanding service to astronomy, his many years with this Association as
Officer and observer, and his contribution to the scientific life of his community and state."
18) 1965 - Curtis E. Anderson
"...in recognition of his outstanding observational contribution to the study of variable stars, and
for the statistical history of the AAVSO, and his constant drive to acquaint young people with the
mysteries of the stars."
17) 1962 - Richard W. Hamilton
"...in recognition of his faithful devotion to the interests of the Association for over twenty-five
years, of his loyal services as President, and especially of his untiring efforts as Curator and
Distributor of Variable Star Charts."
16) 1961 - Clinton B. Ford
"...in grateful appreciation of his moral and material support during trying times, his long
observing record, and his service as Secretary and President. Through his efforts the Endowment
Fund has been established on a firm foundation."
15) 1961 - Reginald P. de Kock
"...whose constant vigilance of the morning and evening sky resulted in an invaluable contribution
of over 100,000 observations of variable stars in the southern sky."
14) 1956 - Margaret W. Mayall and R. Newton Mayall
"For their unfailing devotion to the ideals and interests of the Association during its recent years
of great trial, and for their combined efforts in completing the Leon Campbell Memorial Volume
"Studies of Long Period Variables."
13) 1954 - Roy A. Seely
"In recognition of his faithful devotion to the interests of the Association for over thirty years; of
his loyal services as President and Secretary; and especially of his untiring efforts in producing
new variable star charts."
12) 1954 - Percy Witherell
11) 1951 - David W. Rosebrugh
".....Eleventh Merit Award to DAVID W. ROSEBRUGH, who has devoted untold hours to the
visual observation of variable stars and to administrative duties during his term as secretary and
president of the Association."
10) 1951 - Harlow Shapley
".....Tenth Merit Award to HARLOW SHAPLEY on the occasion of his thirtieth year as Director
of the Harvard College Observatory and guiding light of the Association, and for his international
recognition in the field of variable stars."
9) 1948 - Cyrus F. Fernald
".....Ninth Merit Award to CYRUS F. FERNALD, who has made outstanding observational
contributions to the study of variable stars, and who has done much to maintain the continuity of
the light curves, especially during the recent war years."
8) 1944 - Leon Campbell
".....Eighth Merit Award to LEON CAMPBELL, Recorder and Pickering Memorial Astronomer,
who by his devotion to the work of the Association has made outstanding contributions to the field
of variable star astronomy."
7) 1943 - Charles W. Elmer
".....Seventh Merit Award to CHARLES W. ELMER who by his long continued service and
devotion to the activities of the Association has greatly furthered its work on the problems of
6) 1942 - Dalmiro Francis Brocchi
".....Sixth Merit Award to DALMIRO FRANCIS BROCCHI, a variable star observer for many
years and a cartographer whose handiwork will long continue to be indispensable for the work of
5) 1938 - David B. Pickering
".....Fifth Merit Award to DAVID B. PICKERING in appreciation of his long leadership in
developing the Association, standardizing its methods, and through travels and writing spreading
the gospel of international good will and cooperation in scientific work."
4) 1937 - Eugene H. Jones
".....Fourth Merit Award to EUGENE H. JONES, who by his devotion to astronomy and his
achievements as an observer has reached heights of accomplishment outstanding in the history of
variable star research."
3) 1936 - William Tyler Olcott
".....Third Merit Award to WILLIAM TYLER OLCOTT, the Founder and Life Secretary of our
Association whose words and writing and patient guidance have led many to know and love the
2) 1936 - Rev. Tilton C. H. Bouton
".....Second Merit Award to REV. TILTON C. H. BOUTON. For almost a quarter of a century
an assiduous observer of variable stars. His zeal and his loyalty to the Association have been
inspiration to his fellow members."
1) 1934 - Leslie C. Peltier
"The American Association of Variable Star Observers presents its First Merit Award to LESLIE
C. PELTIER. His faithful and untiring service has placed him in the front ranks of variable star
observers and his discoveries have won him international fame."