The Pierce Prize is normally awarded annually for outstanding achievement, over the past five years, in observational astronomical research based on measurements of radiation from an astronomical object. It is given to an astronomer who has not attained 36 years of age in the year designated for the award (for the 2016 prize, for example, the recipient must have been born in 1981 or later). The recipient shall be a resident of North America (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico) or a member of a North American institution stationed abroad.
For her research on the astrochemistry and astrophysics of ices and molecules in star-forming regions and protoplanetary disks.
For her transformational work in the characterization of exoplanet atmospheres.
For her multi-wavelength work on Type II quasars that has characterized these sources in detail and led to the current “standard model” of quasars, as well as her work on finding direct evidence for AGN-driven outflows, regarded as an essential ingredient in galaxy formation models for regulating star formation.
For major contributions to the field of stellar and Galactic astrophysics, including establishing a fundamental relation of stellar astrophysics, the initial-final mass relation, that maps the fraction of mass loss that stars experience over their lives.
|2012||John A. Johnson||For major contributions to understanding fundamental relationships between extrasolar planets and their parent stars, including finding a variety of orientations between planetary orbital planes and the spin axes of their stars, developing a rigorous understanding of planet detection rates in transit and direct imaging experiments, and examining possible correlations between planet frequency and the mass and metallicity of their host stars.|
|2011||Gaspar Bakos||For the impact he has had on the study of exoplanets, his contributions to our understanding of the unexpected diversity of exoplanet properties, and the extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit and capability he has shown in the development of one of the most successful systems for detecting transiting extra-solar planets (HATNet).|
|2010||Tommaso Treu||For his insightful work into the physical understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, groups an clusters, including the coupled evolution of the luminous, dark matter and black hole components|
|2009||Joshua Bloom||In recognition of his work to explore and understand the nature of gamma-ray burst sources, both as a successful observer of these enigmatic and highly transient phenomena, and through his work to synthesize these observations into a coherent model of the mechanisms and astrophysical sites of gamma-ray burst formation.|
|2008||Lisa J. Kewley||For her influential contributions to both the theoretical and observational fields of galaxy evolution. Dr. Kewley has pioneered new and improved techniques to determine key physical parameters as the star formation rate, chemical compositions, and energy source (massive stars versus AGN), which have brought new insights into the history of star-forming galaxies.|
|2006||Bryan M. Gaensler||For his work on the interactions between neutron stars and their surroundings, which led to our appreciation of the wide diversity of magnetized neutron stars.|
|2005||Andrew Blain||For his outstanding contributions to sub-mm and far-IR astronomy.|
|2004||Niel Brandt||For his outstanding contributions to x-ray astronomy.|
|2003||Xiaohui Fan||For his systematic discovery of high redshift quasars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.|
|2002||Amy Barger||In recognition of her outstanding achievement in observational cosmology using data from X-ray through radio wavelengths to explore previously unknown populations of distant galaxies, giving a view of galaxies early in the history of the universe and showing that they are major contributors to the extragalactic background.|
|2001||Kenneth R. Sembach||In recognition of work which has been important in increasing our understanding of the structure and elemental abundances of the gaseous component of the galaxy, especially of the galactic halo, as well as in discovering new facets of the high velocity cloud phenomenon in the galactic periphery.|
|2000||Kirpal Nandra||In recognition of using data from a variety of x-ray satellites to identify reflection spectra and broadened iron lines from accretion disks in active galactic nuclei.|
|1999||Dennis F. Zaritsky|
|1998||Andrea M. Ghez|
|1997||Alyssa A. Goodman|
|1993||Arlin P.S. Crotts|
|1989||Harriet L. Dinerstein|
|1988||Sallie L. Baliunas|
|1987||Donald E. Winget|
|1985||Richard G. Kron|
|1984||Marc Aaronson & Jeremy R. Mould|
|1978||James M. Moran, Jr.|
|1977||Donald N.B. Hall|
|1976||James Roger Angel|
|1974||Edwin M. Kellogg|