Gunn Wins First Weber Award from American Astronomical Society

James E. Gunn of Princeton University and the Astrophysics Department at Princeton University is the first winner of the newly established AAS Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation. The award committee has cited Gunn for "...his outstanding contributions to astronomical instrumentation which have influenced the development of instruments on major telescopes worldwide. He has been deeply involved in the conception and realization of an impressive series of science-driven instruments, such as the early CCD spectrographs and cameras of Palomar Observatory, the Wide Field/Planetary Camera of the Hubble Space Telescope, and the extremely imaginative and powerful Sloan Digital Sky Survey Project. His research with these instruments has had a profo und influence on astronomy, and the research accomplishments by others using the instruments are an extensive, highly influential body of contributions to astronomical research."

Gunn earned a PhD at the California Institute of Technology in 1966 and served two years in the military while at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After a year teaching at Princeton, he taught at Caltech for the next ten years. In 1977 he became Deputy P rincipal Investigator on HST's Wide Field/Planetary Camera. In 1980, he joined the Princeton faculty as Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy. Since then he has also taken on management positions with the ARC Apache Point Observatory and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey for which he has served as Project Scientist since the project's inception.

[Reprinted from the AAS Newsletter, No. 110, June 2002 with permission of the American Astronomical Society.]