Awards and Accolades





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Honors Given to UC Professors & Research Scientists


UCR Assistant Professor Naveen Reddy was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship in recognition of distinguished performance and unique potential in early career scientists. Reddy specializes in physics of the early universe and extragalactic astronomy, particularly distant galaxies and their evolution, and the nature of heavy element production in these galaxies. [More]

UCSC Assistant Professor Charlie Conroy was awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship in recognition of distinguished performance and unique potential in early career scientists. Conroy's research focuses on galaxy formation and evolution, using a combination of observational, theoretical, and simulation-based techniques. [More]

UCSC Associate Professor Mark Krumholz will receive the 2013 Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy from the American Astronomical Society (AAS), for significant contribution to astronomy by an early-career scientist over a 5-year period. [More]

UCO Interim Director & UCSC Professor Sandra Faber was selected by President Obama to receive the National Medal of Science, one of the highest honors bestowed by the US government, for lifetime achievement in cosmology. [More]


UCSC Professor Sandra Faber was awarded the 2012 Bruce Gold Medal, for lifetime achievement in astronomical research, honoring her contributions to observational cosmology over the past 30 years. [More]

UCLA Professor David Jewitt was awarded the 2012 Shaw Prize in Astrophysics, for discovering and characterizing the Kuiper Belt and its largest members, leading to a major advance in understanding the history of our planetary system. [More]

UCLA Professor David Jewitt was awarded the 2012 Shaw Prize in Astronomy, for pioneering work in detection and study of trans-Neptunian objects which ultimately led to classifying Pluto as a minor planet. [More]

UCLA Professor Andrea Ghez was awarded the 2012 Crafoord Prize in Astronomy, for her observations of the stars orbiting the galactic center, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole. [More]

UCSC Professor and telescope designer Jerry Nelson was awarded the 2012 Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering for for his pioneering contributions to the development of segmented-mirror telescopes. [More]


LBNL's Saul Perlmutter has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae. [More]

UCSC Professor Sandra Faber Elected Foriegn Member of Italian National Academy, in recognition of her scientific career and her influence on the development of Italian astronomy through collaborations with her and her former students.

President Obama Meets with US 2010 Kavli Prize Laureates to recognize and honor their seminal contributions to astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. UCSC professor Jerry Nelson was awarded a 2010 Kavli Prize for astrophysics. [More]

UCB Professor Marc Davis one of four Honored with Gruber Prize for Cosmology, for computer simulations that identified and launched the search for "dark matter" more than 20 years ago. Davis led the project. [More]

UCSC Professor Sandra Faber was awarded the AAS 2011 Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, for a lifetime of seminal contributions to the knowledge of galaxy evolution and dynamics and dark matter, and for leading the construction of astronomical instrumentation and mentoring future leading astronomers. [More]


UCSC Astrophysicist Mark Krumholz won a CAREER Award from NSF, in support of his work studying star formation and his outreach project teaching science classes to prisoners. CAREER grants are awarded to junior faculty who demonstrate potential for exceptional lifetime achievement in integrated research and education. [More]

UCB Professor Alex Filippenko received a 2010 Richard H. Emmons Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), honoring his excellence in the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy for non-science majors. Students have voted Filippenko UCB's "Best Professor" six times. [More]

UCSC Professor Jerry Nelson was awarded a 2010 Kavli Prize by the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters. The Kavli Prize, presented by the king of Norway, honors outstanding and creative scientific research, in particular, Nelson's contributions to building advanced telescopes, enabling researchers to see deeper into space and further back in time. [More]

UCSC Astrophysicist Jonathan Fortney was awarded the 2010 Urey Prize by the American Astronomical Society Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS). The Urey Prize recognizes outstanding and achievements in planetary science by a young scientist. In addition to receiving the Prize, Fortney is invited to give a lecture at the October DPS meeting. [More]

UCB Professor Geoff Marcy was elected to the American Academy's 2010 Class of Fellow and Honorary Members. One of the US's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies, the American Academy supports interdisciplinary long-term research to solve complex and emerging problems by utilizing the unique talents of its constituent members. [More]

Osterbrock Room Dedicated: On April 9, 2010, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal dedicated a Group Study room in UCSC's Science and Engineering Library to former UCO/Lick Observatory Director Donald E. Osterbrock. Faculty, staff, friends, and family were in attendance. [View Photos]

UCSC Professor Garth Illingworth was awarded honorary Doctor of Science Degree by UWA. Illingworth chairs a committee that advises Congress on implementation of the astronomy community's science program. [More]

UCSC Astrophysicist Jonathan Fortney has received a Sloan Research Fellowship, in recognition of distinguished performance and unique potential to contribute to his field. Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded to support research by early-career scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. [More]

UCSB Physicist Tommaso Treu was awarded 2010 Newton Lacy Pierce Prize by AAS, honoring his insightful work on galaxy formation and evolution, including the coupled evolution of luminous and dark matter and black holes. [More]


UCB Astrophysicist Geoff Marcy has won the Carl Sagan Prize, honoring his key contributions to public understanding of science. Marcy has discovered numerous extrasolar planets, and has presented many thought-provoking public lectures about his research. He will receive the prize on November 7 at Wonderfest, a public science convention. [More]

UCSC Astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz has won the NSF CAREER Award, and will receive $500,000 over the next five years to fund research and teaching activities. CAREER recognizes "junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research." Ramirez-Ruiz also won the prestigious Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering last year. [More]

UCSD Professor Frank Shu was awarded $1 Million Shaw Prize in Astronomy, in recognition of his outstanding lifetime contributions in theoretical astronomy. His theoretical contributions on spiral structures in galaxies and on star formation have shaped modern astrophysical research in these areas, influencing the direction of both theoretical and observational studies. [More]

UCSD Astrophysicist Frank Shu was awarded the Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in astronomy. His contributions to astrophysics range from the density-wave theory of spiral structure in disk galaxies, to the process of mass transfer in interacting binary stars, to modeling the formation of stars and planetary systems. [More]

UCB Professor Alex Filippenko elected to National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. This is one of the highest honors that can be awarded to a US scientist. [More]

UCSC Assistant professor Mark Krumholz was awarded a 2009 Sloan Research Fellowship. Sloan Foundation Fellowships support the work of exceptional young researchers early in their academic careers and include a $50,000 grant providing unrestricted support for research over a two-year period. [More]


UCSC Professor & Department Chair Sandra Faber was awarded the 2009 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, for her extraordinary advances in astrophysics and innovative leadership in astronomical facilities development. [More]

CfAO Director & UCSC Professor Claire Max was awarded Princeton's Madison Medal, a top honor for alumni. The award honors her pioneering work in adaptive optics (AO) which revolutionized earth based telescopes, resulting in clearer observation and imaging. [More]

Astronomy & Astrophysics Professor Douglas Lin has just received an Outstanding Faculty Award for 2007-08. This award honors excellence in research, teaching, and service. [More]

UCSC Astrophysicist Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz wins prestigious Packard Fellowship, awarded to support young scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise and creativity. [More]

UCLA Professor Andrea Ghez wins 2008 MacArthur Fellowship, awarded to support creative and groundbreaking researchers with unrestricted funding over the next five years. [More]

UCB Professor Reinhard Genzel wins Million-dollar Shaw Prize, in recognition of his role in demonstrating the Milky Way contains a black hole at its center. [More]

UCSC Professor and CfAO Director Claire Max elected to National Academy of Sciences. for her many contributions to plasma physics, astronomy, and astronomical instrumentation. Election to the academy is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a scientist or engineer. [More]


UCSC Professor Sandra Faber was elected to 2007 AAAS Fellows. for contributions to understanding of galaxies, dark matter, and the formation of large-scale structure in the universe, and for scientific leadership in the community [More]

UCB Professor & LBNL astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter was awarded the 2007 Gruber Cosmology Prize. Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt of Australian National University share this prize for their roles in the seminal discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. [More]

Professor Douglas Lin was named founding director of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (KIAA) at Peking University in Beijing, China. Lin will keep his faculty position at UCSC while he helps launch the new institute, one of two scientific institutes established in China last year with funding from the Kavli Foundation. [More]

UCB Professor Alex Filippenko was awarded the Richtmyer Memorial Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers for astronomy education achievements and his groundbreaking research in observational cosmology. [More]


Astrophysicist Adriane Steinacker was awarded a UCSC Excellence in Teaching Award for 2006-7. The award review process includes student nominations, appraisal of the student evaluations, and contributions to the academic life at UCSC. Student evaluations cite Adriane's devotion to astronomy, to teaching, and to students as individuals.

Alex Filippenko was named Professor of the Year. Sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and administered by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, this award is the only national initiative designed to recognize undergraduate teaching excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. [More]

UCB Professor Marc Davis was awarded the Heineman Prize for outstanding work in astrophysics. The AAS gave this award for for Marc's pioneering work on the large-scale structure of the Universe. [More]

Professor Joseph Miller was awarded UCB's highest honor, the Berkeley Medal. Joe Miller, who served as director of UCO/Lick Observatory for 14 years before stepping down last year, also received the UC Citation of Excellence. Both awards were presented at a dinner in Miller's honor on October 20, 2006. [More]

Astrophysicist Constance Rockosi was awarded a prestigious Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, which honors young scientists who show exceptional promise and creativity. She plans to use the award to develop a 3-dimensional pictures of how stars are moving through our galaxy. [More]

Professor George F. Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics. With John C. Mather of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, he imaged the infant universe, revealing a pattern of temperature variations which evolved into today's universe. [More]

Professor Sandra Faber was awarded the Centennial Medal of the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which honors alumni for contributions to society that have emerged from their graduate education at Harvard. [More]

Professor and CfAO Director Claire Max received Chabot Science Award in recognition of her work in adaptive optics, honoring her excellence in scientific and technological discovery. [More]

Supernovae and gamma-ray burst authority Stan Woosley elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. [More]


Professor Emeritus Robert P. Kraft was awarded the 2005 Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP). This prestigious Medal, awarded annually since 1898, is the highest honor awarded by the ASP, recognizing a lifetime of fundamental contributions to the field of astronomy. [More]

Professor Piero Madau has received the Humboldt Research Award, honoring his lifetime achievement in theoretical cosmology. Award recipients are invited to work on their own research projects with colleagues at German research institutions. [More]

Professor Stan Woosley Awarded AAS 2005 Rossi Prize for his pioneering work in modeling supernovae and gamma-ray bursts, the most violent explosions in the universe. Read more or view gamma-ray burst animation (third animation). Woosley was also awarded the 2005 Hans A. Bethe Prize in recognition of his outstanding work. [More]