[2016-02-23] Springfield Telescope Maker Kristine Larsen PhD, Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University, is awarded the Astronomical League's 2015 Special Service Award for her "outstanding service, dedication, attention to detail, and performance in her role as volunteer Assistant Editor of the magazine Reflector."
Kris is well known to the Stellafane community as the driving force creating and presenting our popular Kids Programs. She works tirelessly to put up the slide show for the Saturday Evening Program and is an accompished telescope maker.
Besides her work at CCSU, Kris is the current President of the AAVSO, the American Association of Variable Star Observers, and has a special interest in our own nearby variable star, the Sun. She and her students are avid solar observers and post data to the AAVSO most clear days.
Kris' Curriculum Vitae makes impressive reading, and her personal blog at Musings from Melenrond is both fun and thought provoking. Give Kris a thumb's up when you see her at Convention: we predict she will advance to Editor of Reflector Magazine by then.
[2016-01-22] At the invitation of the National Park Service, the Springfield Telescope Makers were asked to participate in events honoring the NPS Centennial in the Vermont Statehouse.
In the morning we gathered in the house chamber to hear a joint resolution being read in honor of the National Park Service and its excellent stewardship of historic, cultural and natural resources in Vermont. Vermont is home to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park and a section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. After the joint resolution passed unanimously, the Representatives and Senators rose and gave the NPS staff that were present a long round of applause.
Additionally, the NPS oversees the National Historic Landmark program, and we were there to represent the Stellafane Observatory National Historic Landmark. There are 17 NHL's in Vermont, and that list includes the Statehouse. Club president Dave Tabor prepared a very nice display of historic photos and descriptions and brought his homemade telescope; Mike Patterson created a one-page handout that provided a brief history of Stellafane; and Matt Considine brought a replica of a Porter Casting, the 'Arctic Explorer' book and an original ATM book.
From 11 to 1 a reception was held for the Legislators and Statehouse staff. NPS provided a light lunch, and we were quite busy with many people stopping by to find out more about Stellafane, our history, and what we are doing today.
Rick Kendall, the NPS Superintendent of both Marsh-Billings National Park and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, as well as Superintendent of the NPS Stewardship Institute, and who organized the event, gave a few brief remarks. Representatives of U.S. Senators Leahy and Sanders also read congratulatory messages to NPS on reaching their one hundredth anniversary.
Representing the club were President Dave Tabor and his wife Julie Tabor, Vice President Ken Slater, and Historian Matt Considine. NPS Superintendent Kendall, a great supporter of the NPS Night Skies program, has successfully made a mirror in the Stellafane mirror class, and we partner with him in the fall to hold the Saint-Gaudens Star Party.
Overall, this was a wonderful event to be a part of, and we thank Superintendent Kendall and the National Park Service for inviting us to their 100 Year Celebration. We wish the NPS good luck in their second century of conservation and protection of our shared history and natural resources.
[2015-Nov-25] We are grateful for a donation of precision annealed molded primary blanks this month from United Lens Company of Southbridge, MA. This donation will lower the costs for our annual mirror class for us and our students, directly supporting our mission of preserving amateur telescope optics fabrication.
United Lens is celebrating it's 100th anniversary in 2016, now in it's fourth generation of a family owned business. They have a long history of being generous to amateur telescope makers, so it is no surprise this is not the first donation we have received from them.
We appreciate their support, and wish them all the best in their anniversary year and in the future!