March 13, 2000
UCSC astronomer Donald Osterbrock honored by University of Chicago
By Tim Stephens
Osterbrock's research has made influential contributions to the body of knowledge on interstellar matter, gaseous nebulae, and the nuclei of active galaxies. His books on the subjects are standards in the field. Osterbrock also has published several books on the history of American astronomy. His most recent is Yerkes Observatory, 1892-1950: The Birth, Near Death, and Resurrection of a Scientific Research Institution (University of Chicago Press, 1997).
Osterbrock came to UCSC in 1972 and served as director of Lick Observatory from 1973 to 1981. Before joining UCSC's faculty, he was affiliated with Princeton University, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of Wisconsin.
Osterbrock is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and numerous professional organizations. He also is a foreign associate of the Royal Astronomical Society. The American Astronomical Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have both lauded Osterbrock's career with their lifetime achievement awards, two of astronomy's highest honors. In 1997, the Royal Astronomical Society awarded Osterbrock its highest honor, the Gold Medal, in recognition of his lifetime achievement in the field of astronomy.