Scott W. Roberts
From AstronomyOutreach network
Scott W. Roberts has made a career out of astronomy by working within the telescope retail and manufacturing industry. He has been interviewed on television, radio programs, major newspapers, and is known as a supporter and popularizer of amateur astronomy to the general public. Over the years he has participated in and engineered hundreds of astronomy events and telescope viewings.
Roberts is an enthusiastic amateur observer and astrophotographer. His most noted efforts in astrophotography was as part of the film crew with WGBH Boston's production of NOVA "Eclipse of the Century" that aired nationally on public television. During the July of 1991 eclipse, Roberts ran three 35mm motion picture cameras on massive Meade equatorial mounts simultaneously allowing the cameras to capture the "Diamond Ring" effect from the 14,000' summit of the Mauna Kea Observatory complex in Hawaii.
The footage produced by the solar team directed by Boyd Estus (Award-winning Director/Director of Photography noted for elegant work in 35mm, Super-16mm, and 16mm film, and in video) revealed some of the highest resolution motion picture images ever made of a total solar eclipse. The footage has since appeared in NOVA's 20th Anniversary retrospective program and in a production about the life of Albert Einstien.
"Eclipse of the Century" was the winner of the 1992 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Science Journalism Award. "Eclipse of the Century" can be purchased on video cassette through NOVA Online.
On the 30th Anniverary of the Historic Manned Mission to the Moon, Roberts made a presentation of a Meade ETX-125 telescope with Robert B. Simms, President of the Magazine Group of The National Geographic Society on behalf of Meade Instruments and National Geographic to Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
Awards and Recognition
On November 16th, 2000 Carolyn Shoemaker and David H. Levy named an asteroid, (15779) Scottroberts = 1993 OA3, in honor of Roberts. The minor planet was discovered July 26th, 1993 by Carolyn and David at Palomar Mountain with the 18-inch Schmidt Camera. The certificate inscription reads:
Named in honor of Scott Roberts (b. 1959), who for many years has encouraged amateur astronomers to pursue their love of the night sky, spending much time teaching people how to use and enjoy their telescopes.
In 2001 and 2002, Scott Roberts received The International Dark Sky Association, Executive Director's Award, "In recognition of enthusiastic efforts in the pursuit of the promotion of Dark Skies".
In May of 2001, Roberts received the Clifford W. Holmes Award during the 32nd Annual RTMC Astronomy Expo. This award has special meaning for Scott, as Cliff Holmes was a mentor to thousands of amateur and professional astronomers, and was a personal inspiration to Roberts when he met him in the early 1980's.
Self described as a "tourist of the sky", he helped to convert Oceanside Photographic Center, then a small camera shop in 1980 to become one of the largest retailers of high-end astronomical telescopes in the world. The name of the store was then changed to Oceanside Photo & Telescope. During his retail years he founded the astronomy club OPTAS, which was one of the largest amateur astronomy clubs in Southern California. Scott Roberts enjoys lecturing and teaching about how telescopes work and how to make astrophotographs. In 1986 he received a teaching credential from the State of California to teach astronomy and photography.
In October 1986, Scott accepted an entry level position at Meade Instruments in the Customer Service department. He steadily grew with the company and held the position of Vice President of National Sales, Vice President of Brand Community Marketing, and Vice President of Global Client Support. Over the years he had been involved with sales, marketing, web production, design, manufacturing, and testing of many of Meade's products that were manufactured both in California and in Asia. In 2008, Scott left Meade and pursued astronomy outreach full time with several organizations including the 2009 International Year of Astronomy's Cornerstone Project 100 Hours of Astronomy. Then in August of 2008 he returned to the telescope manufacturing industry and formed Explore Scientific.
Scott shares in the satisfaction of knowing that the telescopes that are manufactured are used by amateur and professional astronomers alike for both casual observations and research. Roberts also believes that programs in astronomy for the general public deserve strong support. In that regard every effort is made to inform, inspire, and support worthy programs and individuals who are involved in this endeavor, and Scott feels fortunate that he is often directly involved.
Roberts has been continually dedicated to astronomy and space science outreach for the general public since 1980. In 2000, Scott founded the AstronomyOutreach network to recognize and popularize individuals and organizations dedicated to the education and public outreach in astronomy and space exploration.
Inspired by John Diebel, the founder of Meade Instruments and his sustained support the astronomical community's organizations, events, and individuals who were committed to public outreach in astronomy Roberts formed and launched the Meade 4M Community in 2005. It became one of the world's largest organizations devoted to astronomy and space exploration enthusiasts with over 40,000 members worldwide.
In 2007, Roberts orchestrated the largest single donation of telescopes for public educational outreach in history, with large containers full of refractors and reflectors. Coordinated with Meade Instruments and Dr. Mike Reynolds, the telescopes were refurbished stock from Meade that were considered unsellable, and scheduled to be disposed of. Dr. Reynolds created a program to distribute and educate the recipients of each telescope that was donated. In the process, several thousand refurbished telescopes were saved and sucessfully repurposed for educational outreach in astronomy.
Scott Roberts has served on the boards of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Astronomy Outreach Foundation, and is currently on the boards of Astronomers Without Borders, and the National Sharing the Sky Foundation.