San Francisco, Calif.  The Astronomical Society of Pacific
(ASP), one of the world’s oldest and largest astronomy organizations, is proud to announce the election of comet hunter and author David H. Levy, University of Hawaii planetary astronomer Karen J. Meech, and former Sky & Telescope Editor-in-Chief Leif J. Robinson to its Board of Directors. The new Board members began serving their three-year terms on September 1, 2001.

David H. Levy is a renowned author and editor of 29 books on astronomy. He is also the science editor for Parade magazine, which is read by more than 70 million people. He co-discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, whose 21 fragments slammed into Jupiter in July 1994. He has also discovered or co-discovered 20 other comets, making him one of the most prolific comet hunters in history. "I have followed the ASP for many years, and I
think that it’s a first class organization," says Levy. "It’s a
wonderful opportunity to serve on the ASP’s Board of Directors."

Karen J. Meech is a planetary astronomer at the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy. Her research interests include the study of distant comets and their relationship to the early
solar system. She is a co-investigator on NASA’s Deep Impact mission, which will shoot a 160-pound (350-kilogram) copper impactor into Comet P/Tempel 1 in 2005. Meech is an active educator, organizing workshops for high school students and teachers. "I am really excited to be participating on the ASP Board of Directors because of the opportunities it will give me to impact science education and outreach, and to work with other people actively involved in this area," says Meech.

Leif J. Robinson recently retired from Sky & Telescope
magazine after working on the editorial staff for nearly 40 years, the last
20 as Editor-in-Chief. During his tenure at Sky & Telescope, the magazine encouraged the amateur community to use new technologies, including CCDs, for scientific research. "A
robust communication/education network needs to be fostered between the professional and amateur astronomy communities, to allow each to better understand the needs and capabilities of the
other," sblur slightly any definition that separates these two camps of explorers!"

"I look forward to working with the newly-elected members in making the ASP a stronger, more effective organization. Each of them brings special talents and expertise to our Board," says
ASP President Alex Filippenko, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley. Filippenko became ASP President in March 2001.

ASP Board members vote on policy matters and help establish the overall direction of the Society. The Board members are nominated by a committee and then elected by the Society’s members.

The non-profit Astronomical Society of the Pacific was founded in 1889 in San Francisco, and is still headquartered there today. The ASP has since grown into an international society. Its membership is spread over all 50 states and 70 countries and includes professional and amateur astronomers, science educators of all levels, and the general public. The ASP publishes the bimonthly Mercury magazine for its members. It publishes a technical journal for professional astronomers, and it coordinates Project ASTRO, a national astronomy education program. The Society also produces a catalog of extensive astronomy-related products for educators and the public.

To download printable photographs of the ASP’s new Board members, visit