UCSC Currents online

Front Page
AccoladesClassified Ads
Making The News
New Faculty
Take Note

January 17, 2000

Sandra Faber receives Outstanding Faculty Award from Division of Natural Sciences

By Tim Stephens

Professor of astronomy and astrophysics Sandra Faber has received the Outstanding Faculty Award for 1998-99 from the Division of Natural Sciences. The award recognizes her distinguished research career, teaching excellence, and commitment to service.

Photo of Sandra Faber
Sandra Faber
Faber is renowned for her research on the formation and evolution of galaxies and the evolution of structure in the universe. "By all accounts she is one of the leading cosmologists in the world," said David Kliger, dean of the Division of Natural Sciences.

Kliger added that Faber's students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels have uniformly praised her teaching abilities. "A large number of students have commented in their evaluations that she was the best instructor they ever had," he said.

Faber has made significant scientific contributions in the areas of structure and formation of elliptical galaxies; the nature, compositions, and motions of stars within a galaxy as related to their ages; and the streaming motions of large numbers of galaxies. Important concepts such as "cold dark matter" and the "Great Attractor" are direct results of work by Faber and her colleagues.

Faber has worked closely on two of the major optical astronomy ventures of recent years: the Hubble Space Telescope and the W. M. Keck Observatory. She is a member of Hubble's wide field/planetary camera team, which directs many of the telescope's most striking observations. And for nearly two decades Faber has helped plan and develop the Keck Observatory in Hawaii, home to the world's largest optical and infrared telescopes.

Kliger also noted Faber's extensive service to the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, the UCSC campus, and the UC Observatories/Lick Observatory. She has served on many important committees and has been instrumental in bringing many new faculty members to the campus.

Faber is among an elite group of scientists who have been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is one of just four non-emeritus faculty members in the UC system elevated to the post of "University Professor." This is the highest honor for faculty in the UC system and is reserved for scholars of international distinction who are recognized and respected as teachers of exceptional ability.

Faber has served on the California Council on Science and Technology, the President's Advisory Panel of the National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy's Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Currently, she serves on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, on the board of the SETI Institute, and as director of the executive committee for the Annual Reviews.

Faber earned her B.A. in physics from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University. She joined the faculty of UCSC and the UC Observatories/Lick Observatory in 1972.

Return to Front Page

  Maintained by pioweb@cats