Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award

The Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award is for an achievement in astronomical research made by an amateur astronomer — that is, a person not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity — and who is resident in North America. The key factor in deciding the recipient will be that the work contributes to the advancement of the science of astronomy. The award consists of a silver medal.


  • achievement in astronomical research made by an amateur astronomer — that is, a person not employed in the field of astronomy in a professional capacity.
  • resident in North America.


Astronomical research:

  • Did the nominee make a significant contribution?
  • Did the research contribute to the advancement of astronomy?

Sharing research with the community:

  • Were results shared with the community in some way? (e.g., at public events, by publication, or shared on social media)
  • Published in professional journals with (professional) colleagues.

Self-nominations are allowed. Nominations are due on 30 June.

View Nomination Checklist View Ethics Self-Disclosure Form

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Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award Committee

2024 - Dan Caseldan

For his outstanding participation in the Backyard Worlds citizen science projects, including pioneering the application of machine learning to solar neighborhood ultracool dwarf searches.

2020 – Dennis Conti

For his outstanding observational, computational, and educational contributions to exoplanet studies.

2018 – Donald G. Bruns

For his successful recreation of, and improvement upon, Eddington's iconic deflection-of-light experiment during the 2017 total solar eclipse, which represents a tour de force in careful observing and calibration.

2016 – Daryll LaCourse

For significant contributions to exoplanet research as a leading member of the Zooniverse Planet Hunters program.

2014 – Mike Simonsen

For his multiyear Z CamPaign dedicated to the long-term study of Z Camelopardalis stars, the results of which, published in the Journal of the AAVSO, promises to have a long-lasting impact on the field of accretion-disk theory.

2012 – Kian Jek

For his work in the Kepler Mission's Planet Hunters program that has been instrumental in the discovery of several planets that had been missed by the Kepler pipelines.

2011 – Tim Puckett

For his efforts in developing & leading the Puckett Observatory World Supernova Search program to understand some of the most important & intriguing objects in the Universe, & the advancements in astrophysics & cosmology that have been made possible.
Year Recipient(s) Citation
2010 R. Jay GaBany For his work as one of the leading amateur CCD astrophotographers over the past decade.
2009 Robert D. Stephens For his extensive contributions to the understanding of asteroids through collection and analysis of asteroid photometry.
2008 Steve Mandel For his many contributions to wide-field imaging.
2007 Ronald H. Bissinger For his many contributions to the photometric study of transiting extrasolar planets.
2006 Brian D. Warner For his diverse contributions to the theoretical understanding of relativistic explosions, gamma-ray bursts and the dynamics of solar system bodies.