Speakers

Terry Atwood

Terry Atwood

Terry’s interest in astronomy began at age ten with the close approach of Mars in 1956. He became a charter member of the Shreveport Junior Astronomical Society in 1959 (along with keynote speaker Ron DiIulio). Five years later the club opened its observatory with a club made 16-inch scope, which Terry helped grind.

Among a host of other positions, Terry has been President of the Shreveport-Bossier Astronomical Society four times and is a go-to sources for media in Shreveport area when astronomical events occur.

Currently Terry is involved with the Shreveport-Bossier Astronomical Society on the Worley Observatory Committee, the Public Relations Committee, and teaches a class for new/novice observers. Observationally he is principally engaged in asteroid occultation timings reported to International Occultation Timing Association, and working on Sissy Haas’ double star project as reported in Sky and Telescope Magazine.


Scott Austin

Scott Austin, Ph.D    

Scott is an Associate Professor at the University of Central Arkansas and the director of the astronomical facilities. In addition to his teaching duties, he does outreach programs using the UCA Observatory and the UCA Planetarium. His research primarily focuses on photometry and spectroscopy of variable stars.


Robert Berrington, Ph.D    

Robert (Bob) Berrington is an associate professor of Astronomy at the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. With research positions at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC and the Wyoming Infrared Observatory at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming his research activites are broad and varied with interests ranging from variable stars to observational cosmology.concentrating in the area of observational and computational studies of the dynamical and chemical evolution of galaxies in the cluster environment.

Bob expressed at a very young age a love for the science of Astronomy, and as a consequence, has become a lifetime amateur astronomer. His love for amateur astronomy has motivated continue his amateur astronomy to remain active with not only the local Astronomy clubs, but also to maintain strong ties with his friends at the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society.


Ron DiIulio

Ron DiIulio        Keynote Speaker

As the Director of the University of North Texas Astronomy Laboratory Program and planetarium, Ron is responsible for the daily operations of one of the largest astronomy laboratory programs in the United States. Each semester, over 1500 students participate in UNT's introductory astronomy classes. The astronomy program's facilities include the Monroe Remote Observatory, located 50 miles North of UNT's campus, as well as UNT's digital Sky Theater, and the new Rafes Urban Astronomy Center, which recently initiated astronomy lab programs. Five years ago, NASA appointed Ron as one of about 200 Solar System Ambassadors from around the world, charged with the responsibility of sharing and interpreting NASA developments. Ron is also past President, and Board Chairman of the Fort Worth Astronomical Society and currently serves on its Board of Trustees. His works and publications include several award-winning video documentaries that have shown on PBS, including "Dark Noon", a video taken during the great solar eclipse of 1979, where he captured Shadow Bands on digital video, which to this day have not been successfully recorded by any other video crew. Ron also maintains an extensive collection of meteorites, many of which are on display in the lobby of the Sky Theater at UNT.


Darrell Heath

Darrell Heath

Darrell Heath is a past president of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society and now serves as the club’s outreach coordinator. He is also a volunteer with the NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador program. During the daylight hours he works at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as a staff member of the Biology Department and is a producer and host for the UALR Television series “The Night Sky.


Gary Hug

Gary Hug    

Gary is a member of the Northeast Kansas Amateur Astronomer’s League. Gary was the lead investigator for three years in the League’s NASA sponsored Near Earth Object Follow up program conducted from NKAAL’s Farpoint Observatory. The Farpoint Asteroid Search Team (FAST) turned in 5K asteroid observations and discovered 600 bodies. He has since received the Planetary Society’s Shoemaker NEO award, two times. Associated grants have facilitated the continuation of his work at his Sandlot observatory.


Chris Lasley    

Chris has been president, treasurer, board member and observatory chair with CAAS. Early into ccd imaging, Chris establishing the first ccd imaging setup at the River Ridge Observatory (RRO) in 1994, utilizing his own kit built camera which he made from machining the housing up. Today Chris images in partnership with CAAS member Danny Flippo, together operating two robotic observatories at the RRO.


Bruce McMath

James (Bruce) McMath

The current president of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, Bruce has also served as Secretary and Membership Chair. A member of AAVSO, Bruce maintains an automated observing campaign following hundred seventy plus pre-main sequence stars.


John Reed    

John has been president, ALCOR and board member with CAAS. John likes to work with relatively wide fields and has become very accomplished in processing images to extract the most from them while maintaining the fidelity of the subject.


Jeff Roberston

Jeff Roberston, Ph.D    

Dean College of Natural and Health Sciences, and professor of astrophysics, Arkansas Tech University. Jeff’s work has focused upon photometry of variable stars, particularly cataclysmic variable, and eclipsing binaries, as well as minor planet studies. Dr. Robertson regularly works with amateurs, often incorporating their observations in his work. He is a member of CAAS and has been instrumental in CAAS/ATU collaboration to establish a robotic observatory at the club’s River Ridge Observatory facility.


Jim Small

Jim Small is the President for the St. Louis Astronomical Society and the MSRAL representative for the AL. He won the Amateur of the Year award in 2014 along with Amy White. He retired from teaching high school science after 31 years and is currently employed part time as the director for the Pattonville School District Observatory in St. Louis County. He is also working on a master's degree in astronomy from Swinburne University in Australia via the Swinburne Astronomy Online program.


Preston Starr

Preston Starr

As the Observatory Manager of the Astronomy Program at the University of North Texas, Preston Starr is responsible for maintaining and guaranteeing the smooth operation of its sixteen telescopes, housed within six observatories. Over twenty five hundred students use the telescopes over a one-year period, making UNT’s astronomy program one of the largest in the U.S.

Graduating from Texas A&M, Preston concentrated on electronics sciences, working as a computer programmer and troubleshooter. His interest in astronomy drew him to amateur astronomy, where he developed an interest in astrophotography, and eventually, to digitally gathering and storing celestial images. After serving as Board Chairman for the Fort Worth (Texas) Astronomical Society, Preston was hired by UNT to complete its remote observatory. His experience with telescopes, computers, software, and digital communications proved to be valuable as he completed UNT’s Monroe Remote Observatory. Currently, Preston is designing a multi-pier remote observatory near Ft. Davis, Texas, literally in the shadows of the McDonald Observatory…a facility that will be available for professional and citizen astronomers.


Robert Togni

Robert (Rocky) Togni's first memory of the sky was seeing Comet Arend Roland in 1957. Soon after that he saw the Plieades and looked it up in an encyclopedia to start learning the constellations and hasn’t quit yet. He has completed 20 of the Astroleague Programs including Master Observer. He has been active with CAAS (formerly MARS) for 25 years serving as President and currently as program chairman. Rocky worked with the Astroleague and AAVSO to start the Variable Star Program and is currently coordinator of the Variable Star Program and the Carbon Star Program. Rocky is a graduate engineer of the University of Tennessee and lives in Heber Springs, Arkansas with his wife Carol.


Peggy Walker

Peggy Walker

Peggy is president of the Broken Arrow Sidewalk Astronomers. She has spoken on the topic of outreach on several occasions, to include ALCON 2012 and the most recent Sidewalk Astronomers event, held in Death Valley. Her group is currently working with the Tulsa Council for the blind to develop outreach programs for those with disabilities.


Theo Wellington

Theo Wellington

Theo has a lifelong interest in astronomy starting from the science side (BS, Astronomy, Case Western Reserve University 1981). She joined the Nashville Barnard-Seyfert Astronomical Society eleven years ago and began enjoying public outreach. This also led to a job at the Sudekum Planetarium in Nashville as a planetarium presenter and educator. Expanding recently to include daytime solar observing, Theo really enjoys bring astronomy to the public both indoors and out!