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New Mexico State University astronomer wins national award

Reta F. Beebe, a New Mexico State University astronomer, has been selected as the recipient of the 2003 Harold Masursky Award by the Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society. She will be presented the award at the DPS meeting in September 2003 in Monterey, Calif.



Reta F. Beebe, astronomy professor at New Mexico State University, is recipient of the 2003 Harold Masursky Award. She will be presented the award at the annual DPS meeting in September in Monterey, Calif. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)


"I was quite surprised," said Beebe. "It was not one single act of brilliance; instead the (planetary) community chose to honor me for my accumulated work."

The award recognizes and honors individuals who have rendered outstanding service to planetary science and exploration through engineering, managerial, programmatic or public service activities.

"I think Dr. Beebe is extremely deserving of this award," said Rene Walterbos, head of New Mexico State's astronomy department. "We are very pleased for her. I think this award also brings recognition and prestige to the department as well."

Beebe, who has been a professor at NMSU for more than 30 years, is the director of the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Data Node, which is located at NMSU, and chairs the Committee for Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX), which is the principle committee of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science. This committee will oversee implementation of the Decadal Plan for Planetary Astronomy in the nation from 2003-2013.

Established by the DPS in 1991, the award is named after the late Harold Masursky of the U. S. Geological Survey, a scientist who was a leader in establishing and accomplishing scientific objectives in both U. S. and international programs for planetary exploration.

Former recipients of the Harold Masursky Award include the late world-renowned planetary scientist, Carl Sagan (1991); the former associate administrator for Space Science at NASA, Wesley Huntress (1999); and the late Congressman George E. Brown, Jr.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/beebe_reta.jpg.
CUTLINE: Reta F. Beebe, astronomy professor at New Mexico State University, is recipient of the 2003 Harold Masursky Award. She will be presented the award at the annual DPS meeting in September in Monterey, Calif. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Jeany Llorente
Dec. 5, 2002