Richard Berry has received numerous awards, including being the namesake for Asteroid (3684) Berry, an honor bestowed upon him by the International Astronomic Union.
LYONS, OR, December 06, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Mr. Berry with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Throughout his childhood in Stamford, CT, Richard Berry was delighted by long nature walks with his mother and tinkering with gadgets with his father. His parents also fostered his love of reading, and he soon dove into learning about a variety of scientific subjects. It was the discovery of a homemade telescope at age thirteen that truly sparked his passion, and he quickly learned how to build telescopes at home, as well as how to make photographs of celestial bodies.
Mr. Berry began his collegiate career intending to major in Physics. However, he found himself enjoying a role as a photographer for the Cavalier Daily student newspaper, and later for the local alternative newspaper. He also explored a possible teaching career. In the end, his interests led him back to an astronomy major. In graduate astronomy courses, he learned basic scientific computing as applied to astronomy on the University of Virginia's B5500 mainframe computer. Mr. Berry received his Bachelor of Arts in astronomy from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, in 1968.
Also, in 1968, he and Eleanor Flagg von Auw married, and a year later, the couple moved to Toronto. Mr. Berry began work as a research technician at York University at the Centre for Research in Experimental Space Science (C.R.E.S.S.) designing optical rocket payloads shot into Earth's upper atmosphere. But astronomy called once again, and he returned to school as a graduate student. His dissertation on astronomical photoelectric photometry earned him a Master of Science from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In Toronto, Mr. Berry became an active member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Toronto Centre, and served on the Centre's Council. Professionally, he continued research and development at a number of companies. He served as Reliability and Quality Assurance officer at IntraSpace International, testing and qualifying instruments that flew aboard the Apollo spacecraft during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (experiment MA-059). He designed auxiliary astronomy instrumentation for Lorentz Scientific, Ltd. In his role as research associate at the Engineering Physics Department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, Mr. Berry worked with a high-power carbon dioxide laser system that measured ozone and hydrogen sulfide air pollution over Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
As funding for science dried up in the 1970s, Mr. Berry looked farther afield. His interests in astronomy, photography, and demonstrated writing skills culminated in his next position, as Technical Editor for ASTRONOMY, a monthly magazine published by AstroMedia Corp., of Milwaukee, WI. But less than six months after Mr. Berry joined the staff, the magazine's founder, Stephan Walther, became ill. In the ensuing year, Mr. Berry assumed responsibility for planning future issues and assigning stories to other editors. Following Walther's death, Mr. Berry was appointed Editor, and a few years later, he was recognized as Editor-in-Chief.
His fondest memories from sixteen years at ASTRONOMY include reporting on NASA's Voyager missions to the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Mr. Berry also orchestrated the magazine's coverage of the 1986 apparition of Comet Halley. Public interest during the year leading up to the comet swelled ASTRONOMY's circulation to over 250,000, the magazine's all-time highest circulation. Berry also campaigned vigorously for higher quality in the optical and mechanical performance of telescopes made for the amateur astronomy market, including "insider views" of the two largest firms. In addition to ASTRONOMY, Mr. Berry founded, Telescope Making, the special-interest quarterly journal that introduced the Dobsonian telescope design to amateur astronomy. In 1986, when Kalmbach Publishing acquired AstroMedia, Mr. Berry was invited to join Kalmbach's corporate Executive Committee.
While working at ASTRONOMY, Mr. Berry authored several books, including Build Your Own Telescope, which provides plans for readers to create five different telescopes on their own. It is considered a classic on the topic. Then, leaving behind the never-ending monthly deadlines of magazine publishing, Berry, with co-authors Viekko Kanto and John Munger, wrote a breakthrough manual for constructing a do-it-yourself electronic camera for astronomy called The CCD Camera Cookbook. Mr. Berry wrote and sold software for astronomical imaging using the new, super-sensitive CCD cameras that were just catching on in the early 1990s.
In addition, Berry authored Discover the Stars, an introduction to visual observing with the naked eye, binoculars, and small telescopes, as well as the 700-page Handbook of Astronomical Image Processing, generally considered the definitive text for amateur astronomers called "astro-imagers." The book includes the widely distributed Astronomical Image Processing for Windows (AIP4Win). Then, with co-author David Kreige, Berry completed The Dobsonian Telescope, a how-to book which focuses on building beginner and advanced Dobsonian telescopes for all amateur astronomers. Completing this cycle of advanced how-to books is Berry's Telescopes, Eyepieces, and Astrographs, co-written with optical experts Roger Ceragioli and Greg Smith.
Mr. Berry has received numerous awards for his service in the astronomical community, including being the namesake for Asteroid (3684) Berry, an honor bestowed upon him by the International Astronomical Union in 1990. In 2002, he received the Astronomical League Award for outstanding work promoting amateur astronomy, and in 2015, he received the 46th American Association of Variable Star Observers Merit Award for his support of amateur digital imaging and photometry communities.
Mr. Berry remains active in local astronomy groups. He served two years as the President of the NightSky45 Astronomy Club of Salem, Oregon. A longtime member of the Rose City Astronomers of Portland, Oregon, he has also given invited presentations. He has participated in workshops for high school and college students at the University of Oregon's Pine Mountain Observatory in eastern Oregon. He served four years on the Council of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and two terms as the AAVSO's Second Vice-President (2019 and 2020).
At home in Lyons, Oregon, Mr. Berry maintains a personal observatory and continues as an active photographer, and with Eleanor, attends poetry gatherings, and takes care of an aging cat and a small herd of alpacas.
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