AAS Names 21 New Fellows for 2024
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The American Astronomical Society (AAS), a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers, is honoring 21 members for extraordinary achievement and service by naming them AAS Fellows — an honor bestowed on less than 0.5% of AAS’s membership each year. They are being recognized for original research and publications, innovative contributions to astronomical techniques or instrumentation, significant contributions to education and public outreach, and noteworthy service to astronomy and to the Society itself. Fellows receive a certificate and a lapel pin.
AAS Fellows Class of 2024
- Fred Adams (University of Michigan): For the development of innovative and enduring advancements to theoretical models of the formation of stellar and planetary systems, insightful investigations into the genesis and evolution of cosmological structures, and dedicated service to the dynamical astronomy community.
- Andrew Baker (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey): For essential work in fundamental radio and submillimeter studies of dusty star-forming galaxies at high redshift, leadership of international collaborations, an exemplary record of service to the field, and inspirational mentorship to the next generation of astrophysicists.
- Bonnie Buratti (NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology): For fundamental insights into the origin and nature of small-body surfaces using both space- and ground-based facilities, tireless devotion to the planetary science community, and wise and supportive mentorship of young scientists.
- Raymond Carlberg (University of Toronto): For major contributions to observational cosmological measurements of clusters of galaxies at intermediate redshift, the measurement of the dark energy equation of state using supernovae, dynamical simulations of galaxies in a cosmological context, and leadership of Canada’s participation in the Thirty Meter Telescope project.
- Steven Federman (University of Toledo): For innovative and detailed investigations into the chemical composition and structure of interstellar gas in our galaxy, employing high-resolution observations and lab experiments, and many years of dedicated service to the global astronomical community.
- Peter Garnavich (University of Notre Dame): For innovative work on supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and cataclysmic variables that has proven essential to furthering our understanding of various astrophysical phenomena; leadership in observational collaborations; and tireless devotion to students and the astronomical community.
- Scott Gaudi (The Ohio State University): For key scientific contributions to the development of the field of exoplanet detection and characterization, extensive public service leadership in exoplanet science via community building, and strategic and mission planning.
- JA Grier (Planetary Science Institute): For over two decades of commitment to advancing accessibility, inclusion, and diversity within the scientific community; and for important advances in planetary sciences, particularly in the area of lunar optical maturity effects.
- Amanda Hendrix (Planetary Science Institute): For wide-ranging studies illuminating thermal, irradiative, and exogenic processing of various species on small body surfaces in the solar system; management of complex autonomous science systems; and devoted service to the planetary and space science communities.
- Larry Lebofsky (Planetary Science Institute): For pioneering research in small-body astrometry and spectroscopy, service to the astronomical community, and a long history of dedication to education and public engagement, particularly with adult trainers of the Girl Scouts of the USA through JWST/NIRCam's education program.
- Matthew Malkan (University of California, Los Angeles): For original and creative contributions to a range of subfields related to the evolution of galaxies and quasars, for developing international collaborations within the astronomical community, and for making vital contributions to US science policy and science education.
- Robert Mathieu (University of Wisconsin–Madison): For seminal research on solar-type binary stars in clusters and associations, ranging from protostellar disks and pre-main-sequence binaries to diverse stellar evolution paths, and for establishing a nation-wide university network focused on developing the teaching and mentoring skills of future STEM faculty.
- Karen Meech (University of Hawaiʻi): For ground-breaking research on solar and extrasolar comets and water distribution in the solar system, organization of large international observing teams, development and management of planetary science programs for teachers, and many years of service to the astronomical community.
- Smadar Naoz (University of California, Los Angeles): For transformational contributions to theoretical astrophysics, particularly significant and innovative works on cosmology and triple-body dynamics; for relentless devotion to the astrophysical community and students; and for an impeccable record of service to both astronomy and society.
- Priyamvada Natarajan (Yale University): For seminal contributions to our understanding of the nature of dark matter and black hole physics, and for the development of a brand-new framework that enables mapping the detailed distribution of dark matter on small scales within galaxy clusters using gravitational lensing.
- Robert Nelson (Planetary Science Institute): For key contributions to the Voyager and Cassini missions, ground-breaking studies of the opposition effect and laboratory work on the microscopic properties of planetary regoliths, leadership in the scientific community, public advocacy for science, and staunch defense of the privacy rights of scientists.
- Glenn Orton (NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology): For pioneering work and continuous dedication to the observation and interpretation of images and spectra of the giant planets obtained using ground-based and space-based telescopes, and for mentoring over 270 students at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the art of observational astronomy.
- Ata Sarajedini (Florida Atlantic University): For contributions to the field of resolved stellar populations as applied to the formation and evolution of star clusters and galaxies, extensive service to the astronomical community through leadership of committees, and outstanding efforts in public outreach such as hosting the "Astronomy Minute" podcast.
- David Wilner (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian): For fundamental contributions to the understanding of star formation, protoplanetary disks, and debris disks; for critical contributions to the improvement of aperture synthesis observations and techniques; and for dedicated mentorship of generations of undergraduate and graduate students.
- Grace Wolf-Chase (Planetary Science Institute): For outstanding and sustained work to bring the wonders of astronomical research to the general public, especially to diverse religious communities; and for significant investigations into bipolar molecular outflows within star-forming regions through multi-wavelength observations and analyses.
- Stephen Zepf (Michigan State University): For foundational contributions to the understanding of extragalactic globular cluster systems and the compact populations within them, their formation, and the formation history of their host galaxies; and for unmatched service to the astronomical community.
The inaugural class of AAS Fellows was named in 2020; those Legacy Fellows included more than 200 Society members, including past recipients of certain awards from the AAS or its topical Divisions, distinguished AAS elected leaders and volunteer committee members, and previously unrecognized individuals with long histories of outstanding research, teaching, mentoring, and service.
The 2024 AAS Fellows now represent the fifth class recognized for enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe through personal achievement and extraordinary service to the astronomical sciences and to the AAS.
"The 2024 AAS Fellows class highlights the incredible work being done in our field, both in critical research advances and in tireless and devoted service to the community." says AAS President Kelsey Johnson (University of Virginia). "It's a privilege to recognize the contributions of these members of our community, and we are honored to have them as colleagues."
Nominations for the AAS Fellows class of 2025 will open shortly and will be due on 30 June 2024.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established in 1899, is a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers. Its membership of approximately 8,000 also includes physicists, geologists, engineers, and others whose interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community, which it achieves through publishing, meetings, science advocacy, education and outreach, and training and professional development.