The Mabel Sterns Award - 2002
First Place Winner: Cosmic Messenger, the newsletter of the Astronomical Society of Kansas City edited by Fiske Miles
Fiske is responsible for a publication that approaches the quality of a hobby magazine rather than just a newsletter. It contains a very professional layout, excellent photography and strong articles that Fiske writes himself or edits from the string of club member writers that he has nurtured. Most of the material is original- created by club members.
The Cosmic Messenger has very effectively promoted special club projects and kept the members excited about them. Fiske includes an editorial mixture of both "real science," interesting reports on club activities and even humorous pieces about club member experiences in astronomy.
Earlier this year, Jack Horkheimer, one of the club's
honorary members, called club president, David Hudgins
saying he "got a real kick" out of the articles
found in the Cosmic Messenger.
Second Place Winner: Sky Watcher, Boise (ID) Astronomical Society, edited by Kathleen Higgins
Kathleen became newsletter editor in January 1999 and since then has improved the club's image by changing the name of the newsletter to the Sky Watcher. In addition, she has added new logo graphics that have been adopted by the club as its official logo.
Kathleen has initiated an electronic newsletter, allowing
club members to receive their newsletter via e-mail
if they choose. This saved the club an enormous amount
of postage. Also, she has been able to save the club
additional money by locating a printer that will print
the newsletter in color at no cost to the club. She
is constantly adding new content to the Sky Watcher
to make it more interesting to the membership, such
as "Moon Phases and Messier Objects: How and Where
to Find Them."
Third Place Winner: Prime Focus, Ft. Worth (TX) Astronomical Society, edited by Steve Gray
This exceptional newsletter contains such features as the NASA Notes, which keep the members informed regarding the latest activities of NASA, club outreach activities to local schools and monthly spotlight on one specific constellation.
In addition, members are kept informed about upcoming
regional star parties and given a chance to list their
astronomical wares in the newsletter as well. Also,
the names of new members are published in Prime Focus.
Fourth Place Winner: Skylights, the newsletter of
the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, edited
by Ron Burk
Recently Ron became editor of Skylights, the newsletter of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England, after previously being involved in its design and printing. With Ron's involvement, the newsletter has really taken off, both in terms of content and layout.
A large part of the recent success of the club is no
doubt due to the professional face put forward by the
newly designed newsletter. Club core membership has
doubled during that time. In addition, the Starfield
Observatory in Kennebunk has been completed, a major
accomplishment for the club.
Fifth Place winner: Battle Point (WA) Astronomical Association's newletter. edited by Bill and Anna Edmonds
Bill and Anna are editors of the Battle Point (WA) Astronomical Association's newletter. They are very successful in encouraging other members to write articles for the newsletter. In addition, Anna has written numerous interesting articles for the publication, including two which have been reprinted in Amateur Astronomy magazine.
Even though the area has several astronomy clubs, membership
in the club has been consistent over the eight years
of its existence, due in no small part to the hard work
of the newsletter editors.
Astronomical League National Headquarters
9201 Ward Parkway; Suite 100
Kansas City, MO 64114