Larry Lebofsky

larry-lebofskyLarry is a retired planetary astronomer from the University of Arizona. He has written over 80 science and ten education publications. He also has 140 science and over 50 science education abstracts. As a retired researcher, he collaborates on a program to make observations of near-Earth asteroids that are potential Earth impactors. Larry discovered water of hydration on the asteroid Ceres and with his graduate students laid the groundwork for our understanding of the relationship between C-class asteroids and the carbonaceous chondritic meteorites—thought to be (along with comets) the source of water and organic material on Earth.

Larry’s love of education and public outreach began to alter the direction of his career in 1990 when he and his wife, Nancy, saw that there was a need for teacher training in basic astronomy-related science. Larry has devoted the last 26 years to bringing the excitement of astronomy to children and adults. Larry is a past president of Arizona Science Teachers Association and was Education Officer for the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society. He served on the Arizona State Science Standard Committee and is on the Arizona committee reviewing the Next Generation Science Standards. He received the DPS’ Sagan Medal for contributions to education and public outreach in the name of planetary sciences. In addition to this, he is on the Board of the International Meteorite Collectors Association, and for five years, he and Nancy edited Meteorite magazine. He is now the Secretary of the International Meteorite Collectors Association.

Larry has conducted workshops for thousands of elementary and middle school teachers. He has interacted with thousands of students with hands-on activities: classroom visits, after school programs, family science nights, and activity-based programs in conjunction with science conferences. In retirement, Larry is a Senior Education Specialist at the Planetary Science Institute (PSI) working on several teacher professional development projects, including CosmoQuest. He is also a Co-Investigator for “Reaching for the Stars: NASA Science for Girl Scouts,” conducting workshops for Girl Scout adult volunteers and staff from all over the US.