E-News

From the Board of Visitors Executive Committee


December 2011

BoV Chair's Message: Transition and a Record of Accomplishment

December 07, 2011

By now most of you have heard about the untimely resignation of Steve Bickerstaff. I was looking forward to serving under Steve for the next two years to better learn the responsibilities and duties of the Board Chair.... I will be happy to step back to Vice Chair if Steve recovers and wishes to return. With that aside, I am excited and enthusiastic about moving into the Board Chair position and I am confident that I can do my part to help us grow and prosper. more..

Randy Henry

Director's Report: HETDEX Progress Update

December 07, 2011

The Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is taking shape. Team members at universities in Texas and Germany are working to create the hardware and computer programs that will enable our look back at the expansion history of the Universe, to provide unique data for solving the riddle of dark energy. more..

David L. Lambert

Plans for the February 2012 BoV Meeting

December 07, 2011

Science Discussion Groups (including one on Saturday afternoon); an after-dinner talk by Texas A&M astronomer Nicholas Suntzeff, one of the discoverers of dark energy; three excellent science speakers at the BoV meeting; and a Great Lecture by famed mirror maker Roger Angel (about using telescopes to make low-cost electricity) are among the highlights of the February 2012 BoV meeting. more..

Dr. Nicholas Suntzeff

BoV Sponsors "New Horizons in Astronomy" Symposium 2011

December 07, 2011

The fourth New Horizons in Astronomy (popularly known as "BashFest") was held October 9-11 in the ACES Building on the University of Texas campus. Made possible through generous support of the Board of Visitors, BashFest brought together postdoctoral researchers and graduate students to discuss their research on a wide range of astronomical topics in talks and posters. more..

Frank Bash at BashFest 2011

First Recipients of the Ralph Cutler Greene Award Announced

December 07, 2011

Jennifer Ellis and George Miller, two outstanding senior undergraduate students in the University of Texas at Austin Astronomy Program, have been chosen as the first recipients of the Ralph Cutler Greene Award. more..

McDonald Observatory Outreach Office Teams up with Dallas's new Perot Museum

December 07, 2011

The Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, scheduled to open in early 2013, promises to be a great educational and cultural facility for all of Texas. And McDonald Observatory is helping the new museum's staff and exhibit planners more..

Perot Museum

Texas Astronomers at the Texas Science and Engineering Festival

December 07, 2011

On the weekend of November 5 and 6, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and students represented the Astronomy Department and McDonald Observatory at the Texas Science and Engineering Festival, which was held at the Austin Convention Center. Organizers estimate 32,000 children and parents visited the festival. more..

News from around the BoV and Texas Astronomy

December 07, 2011

This issue's news items include: Recognitions and Awards for BoV members and for UT Austin astronomers; new telescopes and facilities are taking shape at McDonald Observatory; A UT Austin astronomer helped director Terrence Malick make his movie more..

Planned Giving Committee Report

December 07, 2011

As the Chair of the Board of Visitors Planned Giving Committee, I am proud that the Board of Visitors has come through in a spectacular way in the last year, increasing the number of planned gifts to benefit Texas Astronomy by more that 50 percent and bringing the known total of planned gifts to more than $2.6 million. This is a great beginning, but our work as BoV members has just started. more..

Paul Teten, BoV Planned Giving Committee Chair

Mary Ann Rankin Educational Endowment Nearly Two-Thirds Funded

December 07, 2011

Thanks to generous support from 50 members of the Board of Visitors and 11 other donors, the Mary Ann Rankin Educational Endowment for McDonald Observatory has reached $95,190 in pledges, or 63 percent of its $150,000 goal. more..

Mary Ann Rankin

BoV Funds Underwrite the First Annual Texas Astronomy Undergraduate Research Symposium

December 07, 2011

With support from Board of Visitors Budget Funds, The University of Texas at Austin Department of Astronomy hosted the first annual Texas Astronomy Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, September 23, 2011. Twenty-three students from six Texas universities presented papers. more..

First Annual Texas Astronomy Undergraduate Symposium

McDonald Observatory at the CAST Conference

December 07, 2011

Drs. Keely Finkelstein and Mary Kay Hemenway presented six workshops at CAST, the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching, sponsored by the Science Teachers Association of Texas, in Dallas November 17-19. more..

Mary Kay Hemenway

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December 2011

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BoV Chair's Message: Transition and a Record of Accomplishment

Director's Report: HETDEX Progress Update

Plans for the February 2012 BoV Meeting

BoV Sponsors "New Horizons in Astronomy" Symposium 2011

First Recipients of the Ralph Cutler Greene Award Announced

McDonald Observatory Outreach Office Teams up with Dallas's new Perot Museum

Texas Astronomers at the Texas Science and Engineering Festival

News from around the BoV and Texas Astronomy

Planned Giving Committee Report

Mary Ann Rankin Educational Endowment Nearly Two-Thirds Funded

BoV Funds Underwrite the First Annual Texas Astronomy Undergraduate Research Symposium

McDonald Observatory at the CAST Conference