Western Amateur Astronomers
The G. Bruce Blair Awards

The G. Bruce Blair Awards

The G. Bruce Blair Medal is the highest honor which the Western Amateur Astronomers (WAA) bestow to an individual. It is considered the “Nobel Prize” of amateur astronomy and is awarded only to a living professional or amateur astronomer who has made an important contribution to amateur astronomy.

2023Gerald McKeeganSpace Scientist/Reflective Materials, outstanding contributions to the Chabot Space and Science Center
2022Timothy HogleJPL Spacecraft Systems Engineer for Voyager
2021Paul D. MalleyEngineer at Johnson Space Center and achievements in asteroid studies
2020Bing QuockMorrison Planetarium
2019Conrad JungStaff Astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center
2018Wally PacholkaAccomplished Astro Photographer
2017Jim and Virginia StrogenAstro-Oasis in Missouri and lifetime achievement in creating astronomy friendly sites
2016Nathan McKennaLeader of the “Save the Zeiss Planetarium” effort at the Chabot Space and Science Center
2015Tim ThompsonPast President of the LAAS, Long time volunteer/presenter at the Mt. Wilson Observatory
2014Richard OzerDirector of the Golden State Star Party, co-director of the Chabot Telescope Makers’ Workshop. 
2013Albert J. Highe, PhDObserver, Author, ATM, telescope designer, speaker and member of TAC.  
2012Jim BenetOCA-Outreach Coordinator has reached more than 100K people in SoCal. 
2011Scott RobertsAmateur astronomer, former Meade representative, and then owner of Explore Scientific.
2010Mr. Robert K. Buchheim  Researcher, author, OCA Board Member/trustee, Board Member – SAS.  
2009Mike Simmons Past Pres-LAAS. Founded MWOA and AWOB. 100hrsofAstronomy Co-Chair.  
2008Ms. Marni Berendsen Developer NASA/ASP Night Sky Network. Leader of Project ASTRO, author.  
2007Mr. Carter Roberts Bay area amateur, CSSC and RTMC board member, long time EAS President. 
2006John Christopher “Chris” Butler Artist, speaker. Program/exhibits director at Griffith Observatory.  
2005Dr. David L. Crawford Teacher, co-founder of IDA, promotes sensible night lighting. 
2004Mrs. Jane Houston Jones Past Pres. of AANC, writer, Cassini Senior Outreach Spec.at JPL  
2003Mr. F. Jack Eastman Well known ATM, member of LAAS, DAS, advisor at Chamberlin Observatory.
2002Dr. Mike D. Reynolds  Director of Chabot Space Science Center. Active amateur supporter. 
2001Monsignor Ron Royer Astro-photographer, early developer of tri-color photo process. 
2000Dr. Joel W. Goodman, PH.D. Bay area amateur, speaker, Docent MDOA, ALPO Saturn Recorder.  
1999Mrs. Denni Frerichs Medlock Past Secretary of WAA, Co-coordinator of Group 70.  
1998Mr. Richard Berry Promoter of CCD astrometry, author of CCD Cookbook. 
1997Mr. Robert Stevens  Educator, Secretary and Treasurer to RTMC.  
1996Dr. Ed KruppDirector of Griffith Observatory and book author. 
1995Mr. Don MachholzDiscoverer, observer and popularizer of comets.  
1993Mr. Tom Johnson Celestron founder, popularizer of Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes. 
1992Mr. Kevin Medlock Builder of large amateur telescopes. 
1991Dr. John Westfall  ALPO director & coordinator of Pro – Amateur research projects. 
1990Mr. David H. Levy Teacher of young people, author and comet discoverer. 
1989Dr. Harold F. Weaver ASP patron and long-time supporter of amateur astronomy. 
1988Mr. Stephen J. Edberg Famous international amateur astronomer. 
1987Mr. Jack Borde Long time ATM, and a participant in WAA, MDAS and Moonwatch. 
1986Mr. Ben Mayer Famous west coast astro-photographer. 
1985Ms. Betty Neall WAA secretary in 50s. Astronomical organizer in northern California.
1984Mr. Chesley Bonestall Famous astronomical artist. 
1983Mr. John Sanford Astro-photographer, teacher and author. 
1982Mr. Douglas Berger Founder of Astronomy Day.  
1981Mr. Ashley Thomas McDermott  Professor and astronomy popularizer in southern California. 
1980Mr. Paul Zurakowski Well known ATM; Director of Chabot Telescope Makers’ Workshop. 
1979Mr. Kingsley W. Wightman Long-time teacher of Astronomy at Chabot Observatory. 
1978Mr. Jackson Carle Well known Central Valley ATM.  
1977Mr. Frank Miller  Very active in AANC and WAA organizations. 
1976Mr. Patrick Moore  Famous astronomical popularizer and author.  
1975Mr. Clifford W. Holmes  Founded the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference.  
1974Mr. John Dobson  Popularized the “Dobsonian” telescope design.  
1973Mr. Raymond Coutchie Astronomical artist, astro-photographer, and author. 
1972Mr. Clinton Ford Long-time Secretary of the AAVSO. 
1971Mr. George A. Carroll  West coast builder of large telescopes. 
1970Mr. Charles F. Capen Expert observer, especially of Mars.  
1969Mr. Thomas R. Cave  Telescope Manufacturer and Mars observer.  
1968Dr. David Dunham Long-time coordinator of grazing occultation observations.  
1967Dr. Leslie C. Peltier Famous comet and variable star observer. 
1966Dr. Clarence P. Custer Active in the WAA and famous astro-photographer.  
1965Dr. Clyde Tombaugh Discoverer of the Planet Pluto.  
1964Mr. Walter Scott Houston Author of “Deep Sky Wonders.” 
1963Mr. Thomas Cragg Solar, planetary, and variable star observer.  
1962Arthur & Natalie Leonard Active participants of Moonwatch & WAA. 
1961Mr. Carl Wells WAA founder and well known ATM.  
1960Mr. David Barcroft ALPO secretary 1947-1974. 
1959Dr. Earle G. Linsley Director Chabot Obs. 1923-1947 & Co-founder of EAS and WAA.  
1958Dr. Dinsmore Alter Director Griffith Obs. & Co-founder of WAA Board. 
1957Dr. Margaret Mayall Director AAVSO 1949-1973. 
1956Dr. Otto Struve Leading 20th Century astronomy popularizer. 
1955Prof. Walter H. Haas Founder of ALPO, Co-founded WAA. 
1954Mr. Albert G. Ingalls ATM pioneer and author of ATM 1, 2 and 3.