Department Astronomy Professor Dr. Kristine Larsen recently received the 2015 Special Service Award from the Astronomical League in recognition of her “outstanding service, dedication, attention to detail and performance” in her role as volunteer Assistant Editor of the League’s Reflector magazine.
The Astronomical League is the largest group of amateur astronomers in the world, and is made up of members from hundreds of local astronomy clubs as well as members-at-large. Dr. Larsen is a member through the Springfield (Vermont) Telescope Makers, the oldest amateur telescope making organization in the U.S., where she is co-coordinator of programming for the annual Stellafane Convention. She was previously the 2013 recipient of the Walter Scott Houston Award from the North East Region of the Astronomical League in recognition of her achievements in astronomy education and outreach, and is currently President of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), a century-old international organization of professional and amateur astronomers dedicated to the discovery, monitoring, and understanding of variable stars (including the sun). “Astronomy has benefited tremendously from the dedicated work of both volunteer and paid astronomers,” Larsen explains. “It is an honor to work side-by-side with all those who consider astronomy their passion, regardless of whether or not it is their profession.”