Lick Observatory Council

Lick Observatory Council

The Lick Observatory Council is a group of scientists and private citizens who are dedicated to ensuring a vibrant long-term future for Lick Observatory. They oversee Friends of Lick Observatory, the philanthropic/ outreach arm for Lick; are active in seeking additional resources and support; promote a suite of projects and activities to improve Lick; and advise the Observatory on long-term programs and strategy.

Alexei V. Filippenko

Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley

Alex Filippenko is a Professor of Astronomy at UC Berkeley, and the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is one of the world's most highly cited astronomers. He is the recipient of numerous prizes for his scientific research, and he was the only person to have been a member of both teams that revealed the accelerating expansion of the Universe, a remarkable discovery that was honored with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to the team leaders. Winner of the most prestigious teaching awards at UC Berkeley and voted by the students as the "Best Professor" on campus a record 9 times, he was named the National Professor of the Year in 2006. He has produced 5 astronomy video courses with The Great Courses, coauthored an award-winning astronomy textbook (now in its 4th edition), and appears in about 100 TV documentaries, including more than 40 episodes of The Universe series. In 2004, he was honored with the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.

Richard F. Bader

Lick Observatory Council Member

Richard F. Bader is a innovator responsible for starting several successful technology companies in Silicon Valley. These include Compression Labs (compression technology for video conferencing), Raytel (compressing radiology images for transmission over phone lines), a company that developed devices for in-home blood testing to monitor medication levels, and another that developed seat electronic systems for the 747 and L1011 aircraft. He has served on the advisory boards of the electrical engineering school at Rutgers/NJIT University and the Silicon Valley Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Bader obtained his BSEE from Rutgers/NJIT, his MBA from Santa Clara University, and has taken advanced physics courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Stanford. He has a strong interest in astronomy and physics.

William T. Benson

Retired Businessman and Investor

Ronald Bricmont

Lick Observatory Volunteer, Historian

Ron is the founder and leader of the Lick Observatory Volunteers. He is also one of the observatory historians, and one of the history lecturers at the summer programs. He has been involved with the Historical Collections project since it began. Down the road at Grant Ranch Park, where he is the park historian and archivist, He has led the park's volunteer organization for the past 34 years, as well as initiating the park's monthly public astronomy programs in 1982 and directing them through the 31 years since.

Gabriela Canalizo

Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, UC Riverside

Gabriela Canalizo is a Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside. Her research interests include quasar host galaxies, interactions and mergers of galaxies, ultraluminous infrared galaxies, AGN, stellar populations, quasar feedback and duty cycle, black hole masses and old galaxies at high redshift. As a postdoc at LLNL, she contributed to the development of the adaptive optics system at Lick. Canalizo is also a board member of the Passion Center for Children, a non-profit organization that serves children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic in Malawi, Africa. Every summer, she runs outreach programs in Africa, teaching science to orphans and other disadvantaged youth. She received a BS in physics from MIT and a PhD in astronomy from the University of Hawaii.

Andrew Fraknoi

Chair, Astronomy Department at Foothill College

Andrew Fraknoi served as Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific from 1978 - 1992 and as the Society's Senior Astronomy Educator until 2012. He is the lead author of a popular college textbook for introductory astronomy and co-founded the on-line journal "Astronomy Education Review." He appears regularly on national and local radio programs explaining astronomical developments in everyday language, and was selected as Professor of the Year for the state of California in 2007. Among his awards are the Gemant Prize of the American Institute of Physics, the Annenberg Foundation Award for Astronomy Education of the American Astronomical Society, and the Faraday Prize for science communication of the National Science Teachers' Association. He serves on the Board of the SETI Institute and is a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 Asteroid Fraknoi to recognize his work in the popularization of astronomy.

Adam A. Kablanian

Executive Chairman of PlasmaSi

Mr.Kablanian is currently the Executive Chairman of PlasmaSi, a startup company focused on becoming the leader in thin film barrier technology for OLED displays, and a board member of Cortex MCP a startup company developing a new foundational platform for the future of Mobile Commerce, and most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Memoir Systems a ventured backed memory IP Company. Prior to Memoir Systems, Adam was the co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of iCON Communications. iCON Communications is a premier broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Armenia utilizing state of the art WiMAX technology which he successfully sold it in 2009. Most recently, Adam was Chairman of the Board (until March 2008) and Chief Executive Officer (until March 2007) of Virage Logic, a company which he co-founded in 1996, and subsequently took public on NASDAQ (VIRL.) Adam has also served on numerous boards in the EDA Industry (Sequence Design) and Application SW (IconApps) companies.

Mr. Kablanian has numerous inventions, 14 patents granted in the area of Micro- chip design and he is the author and co-author of over 15 technical publications in leading trade journals.

Mr. Kablanian holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley (1983), a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University (1992) and an Executive MBA program from Stanford University (2006).

Jim Katzman


Jim Katzman was co-founder and Vice President of Engineering at Tandem Computers, where he helped to build the first commercially available fault-tolerant enterprise computer systems, dubbed the NonStop Computer Series. Before that, he was a computer design engineer at Hewlett-Packard, and following Tandem he was a special limited partner in Technology Venture Investments, an early-stage hi-tech venture capital firm. Mr. Katzman is an avid astronomy buff, and major contributions by him and his wife Sylvia enabled construction and measurements with the Katzman Automated Imaging Telescope (KAIT) at Lick. This highly successful telescope has been used by Lick astronomer (and Council president) Alex Filippenko to obtain fundamental data that calibrated supernovae explosions to measure distances to galaxies and thereby establish the existence of dark energy in the cosmos. Mr. Katzman holds a BS in electrical engineering from Purdue and an MS in electrical engineering from Stanford.

Robert Kibrick

Research Astronomer (retired), University of California Observatories

Robert Kibrick joined the staff of Lick Observatory in 1976, retired from his position as Research Astronomer in 2012, and now provides volunteer technical support for Observatory projects. During his years at Lick and UCO, he developed software and hardware for control and data acquisition systems used in telescopes and instruments at both Lick and Keck Observatories. From 1998 to 2003, he served on the Applications Strategy Council for the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development. He spearheaded the development of the software and networking infrastructure that enables UC researchers and their students to conduct observations with the Lick and Keck Telescopes remotely from their local UC campuses and in 2012 oversaw the installation of a high-speed microwave Internet link to Lick Observatory. Mr. Kibrick did undergraduate work in engineering at UCLA before transferring to UCSC, where he received his BA in information and computer science. He is the principal inventor for 3 US patents involving position encoding technology, examples of which can be found on Mt. Hamilton, and has authored publications on astronomical instrumentation, software systems, and remote observing.

Michele Kibrick

Community Volunteer

Michele Kibrick is a community volunteer and long-time supporter of Lick Observatory. She has served on several school site councils and non-profit boards, worked as the aide to the Santa Cruz City Council, and was a member of the Santa Cruz Sister City Committee. Along with husband Robert, Michele was instrumental in the formation of the Friends of Lick Observatory. She received her BA in history from UCLA.

Loren Kinczel

Managing Director at Scharf Investments

Prior to joining Scharf Investments, Mr. Kinczel performed equity research with both Farallon Capital Management LLC., a leading multi-billion dollar hedge fund, and Belden and Associates Investment Counsel, a registered investment advisor based in San Francisco. Before launching his professional investment career, Mr. Kinczel worked with venture capitalist Richard Tahta on new enterprises serving the financial services industry. He has invested privately since 1994. He graduated with honors from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and earned his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

Stephens F. Millard

Steve Millard is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and co-founder of several NASDAQ companies including Equatorial Communications (now GTE); Telebit Corporation and Packet Technologies (now Cisco); Metricom (later the Paul Allen Group); and Com 21. Currently, he is cofounder of Pathfinder Partners, an organization working closely with US national security groups in anti-terrorism activities. Boards past and present include The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley; and the Kellogg School, Northwestern University. He holds a BS from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Ex Officio

George R. Blumenthal

Chancellor and Prof. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz

George R. Blumenthal is UC Santa Cruz's 10th chancellor. He joined the campus in 1972 as a Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He is known particularly for his work with Santa Cruz colleagues Sandra M. Faber and Joel Primack (and Martin Rees of Cambridge University) on dark matter. Their theory of cold dark matter, developed in the 1980s, remains the standard explanation of the formation of galaxies and galaxy clusters. Blumenthal was the chair of the UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate from 2001 to 2003 and served one year each as Vice Chair and Chair of the University of California Academic Senate. Blumenthal holds a BS in physics from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a PhD. in physics from the University of California, San Diego

Sandra M. Faber

Emerita Prof. of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz

Sandra Faber has been a professor at UC Santa Cruz since 1972. She is known as an observational cosmologist who has worked mainly on understanding galaxy formation. Her best known work is the paper with George R. Blumenthal and Joel Primack of UCSC and Martin Rees of Cambridge University on dark matter. Their theory of cold dark matter, developed in the 1980s, remains the standard explanation for the formation of galaxies. Faber has also contributed to building astronomical instrumentation at the Keck Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and University Professor in the UC system. She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2103 by President Obama. She received a BA in physics with high honors from Swarthmore College and a PhD in astronomy from Harvard

Patricia Madison

Coordinator, Lick Observatory Public Programs

Astronomy is a long time interest of Patricia Madison. While attending Foothill College, she worked at the Foothill College Observatory. After completing her B.A. at UCSC, she continued with graduate studies in Mathematics and Astronomy at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a Morehead Fellow, Patricia worked at the Morehead Planetarium and earned her M.S. degree. Patricia has been part of the Lick Observatory Summer Volunteer Staff since 1998. In addition, she now works part-time at Lick Observatory as a guide and as the Public Programs Coordinator. When not up at Lick Observatory, Patricia can often be found at public star parties (run by the Halls Valley Astronomical Group) at Grant Ranch County Park and at special daytime and evening events at Alviso Wildlife Refuge.

Claire Max

Director, UC Observatories

Claire Max, Director of UC Observatories and professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, is known for her ground-breaking work in adaptive optics and laser guide star systems. At the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Max and her colleagues demonstrated the utility of sodium-layer laser guide stars, and deployed the first astronomical facility using these lasers at Lick Observatory in the mid-1990s. Today the technology has been deployed at many of the largest telescopes in the world, including the twin Keck 10-meter telescopes in Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Max received an A.B. in Astronomy at Harvard University, and a PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton. She has held leadership positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and served as Director of the Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) at UC Santa Cruz. Max's astronomy research currently focuses on astronomical applications of adaptive optics, for example to study outflows and black holes in colliding galaxies. She was recently awarded the 2015 Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation by the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Tony Misch

Director, Lick Observatory Historical Collections

Tony Misch is Director of the Lick Observatory Historical Collections. He holds a BFA from the University of Washington and an MFA from the Otis Art Institute. In 1982 he took what was meant to be a six-months' break from painting and teaching to work at Mount Wilson Observatory but contracted a severe case of observatory fever and stayed until 1987, then moving to Lick Observatory where he worked as a resident Support Astronomer until his retirement in 2007. Tony began organizing the Lick Observatory Historical Collections the following year. He has written and lectured on a variety of topics in astronomy and the history of astronomy.

Graeme Smith

Associate Director of UCO for Lick Observatory and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, UC Santa Cruz

Graeme Smith's research centers around the properties of red giant stars within the Milky Way Galaxy — their physical evolution, their chromospheric activity and mass loss, and what they can tell us about the chemical enrichment history of the Galaxy. Present work has focused on the chemical abundance differences among stars within globular clusters, which are ancient stellar systems formed as heavy element synthesis was just commencing within the Milky Way galaxy. Understanding the origin of these differences provides information about the early environment of the Galaxy as well as processes such as deep mixing that occur within the interiors of cluster red giants. Dr. Smith received his BS and PhD in astronomy from the Australian National University.