Western Amateur Astronomers
From AstronomyOutreach networkDr. G. Bruce Blair and Prof. Walter H. Haas with a team of professional and amateur astronomers as a regional federation of astronomical organizations in the western states to combine their efforts to educate the public and promote a better understanding of the field of astronomy. WAA was incorporated in California as a non-profit educational organization in 1952.
Dr. Blair envisioned a grand meeting, to be held once a year, which would bring western amateur astronomers together to exchange ideas and to meet each other. The first Western Amateur Astronomers conference was held at USC in August 1949. 200 delegates from 23 organizations attended.
Outreach and Objectives
The objectives of this organization shall be to effect liaison between astronomical groups, to conduct or participate in an annual convention of amateur astronomers, to present awards to persons or organizations that have made an outstanding contribution to amateur astronomy during the preceding year or years, and, in general, to educate, encourage, and promote interest in science and astronomy.
The current officers of WAA include:
- Jack A. Borde, President
- Wayne P. Johnson Vice President
- Tim Thompson Secretary
- Earl Wilson Treasurer
- Astronomical Society of the Desert
- Astronomical Association of Northern California
- Astronomical Institute of North America
- Telescope Makers Workshop-Chabot
- China Lake Astronomical Society
- Denver Astronomical Society
- Eastbay Astronomical Society
- Hawaii Astronomical Society
- Los Angeles Astronomical Society
- Mount Diablo Astronomical Society
- Mt. Diablo Observatory Association
- Mt. Wilson Observatory Association
- Orange County Astronomers
- Stockton Astronomical Society
- Stoney Ridge Observatory
- The Tri-Valley Stargazers
- Western Region - Astronomical League
The G. Bruce Blair Medal is the highest honor which the Western Amateur Astronomers 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. The award is presented each year at the RTMC Astronomy Expo.