Harry L. Shipman
NSF Award Recognition: NSF 2003 Distinguished Teaching Scholars

Research Contributions: Dr. Shipman is an astronomer whose work with white dwarf stars has received wide-spread acclaim. His early spectroscopic studies and his later work with the Hubble Space Telescope have yielded essential data in elucidating the size and temperature of white dwarf stars, and additional investigations have led to a better understanding of the atmospheric composition of these stars. His work was among the first to verify early predictions of the nature and structure of these objects. Dr. Shipman was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow in 1980, and a Visiting Fellow in the Astronomy Department at the University of Arizona (1980) and the Johns Hopkins University (1988).

Educational Contributions: Dr. Shipman has made notable contributions in undergraduate education, including general education science courses for non-science majors and programs to enhance the training of K-12 teachers. He has published not only in the leading research journals in his field but also in journals devoted to teaching and pedagogy. He has an intimate knowledge of astronomy education, based in part on his prior service as the education officer of the American Astronomical Society. Dr. Shipman has served as Director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness and is currently co-leader of the Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education at the University of Delaware. He was a Visiting Fellow in the Science Education Department at the University of Georgia (1994). Dr. Shipman is the author of four popular books on astronomy and space, which have attracted national and international notice. He served as the first education officer of the American Astronomical Society and has been Shapley Visiting Professor since 1976.

Director's Award Project: Dr. Shipman's project aims to engage K-12 teachers, and undergraduate and graduate students in the development of an extensive set of hands-on, problem-based learning exercises that incorporate current research (mostly but not exclusively in astronomy). The modules will be suitable for use in a general science course for nonscientists or in a standard introductory astronomy course.

from NSF Event, June 3, 2003 Program