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Trumpler Award

The Robert J. Trumpler Graduate Student Excellence Award supports high-achieving graduate students in the Department of Astronomy in the College of Letters & Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Robert J. Trumpler Graduate Student Excellence Award was made possible through a generous gift from a former Astronomy graduate student, Martha Stahr-Carpenter (M.A. 1943; Ph.D. 1945). For her Ph.D. thesis, Stahr-Carpenter made observations and measured radial velocities of F and G stars near the North Galactic Pole in order to investigate the gravitational force within the Milky Way Galaxy. This award is named in honor of her thesis advisor, the late Robert J. Trumpler, a Professor in the Astronomy Department at UC Berkeley from 1938-1951. Trumpler's most important work was his study of distances, dimensions, and space distribution of Galactic star clusters. From this investigation he demonstrated that interstellar space is filled with a tenuous haze of dust and gas that scatters and absorbs starlight. This discovery marked a great step forward in our understanding of the Milky Way and the universe.

The Trumpler Award is given to one or more high achieving graduate students per year in recognition of academic excellence. In addition to a student's academic achievements, the award winner(s) will also have demonstrated an outstanding record of involvement in the department or wider astronomical community. Funds from the prize are to be used to fully or partially support travel for field trips, observing, to attend a conference or workshop, or for other approved purposes.

To be considered for the Trumpler Award, a student must be nominated by a faculty member in the department. From those nominations, designated faculty will vote to select the most worthy student. Graduate students are only eligible for the award once during their academic career at Berkeley. If the prize is to be used to attend a conference or workshop, the student must present a paper or poster.

The award is announced annually at commencement ceremonies in May.

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