FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 17, 2003
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Dr. Duane Pontius
Jr., assistant professor of physics at Birmingham-Southern College,
has been elected president
of the Birmingham Astronomical Society.
The society promotes astronomy among Alabamians and has for 25
years provided a forum for amateur enthusiasts to come together
and share knowledge about
the night sky.
“I certainly wouldn't claim to be an expert on all of astronomy,
but that's the beauty of an organization like this,” said Pontius.
Each member brings his or her own expertise, which provides a ready resource
for everyone else, from novices trying to choose their first telescope to seasoned
veterans arguing over technical details about eyepieces.”
Prior to coming to BSC, Pontius worked
as a researcher in theoretical physics studying satellites and
the magnetic field of Jupiter,
as well as other topics
in space weather. Although he still receives funding from NASA for his ongoing
research in those fields, he says his decision to teach at a liberal arts
college was motivated by his desire to “bring science down
“It's crucial to bring the profound insights of modern science to
young students eager to learn about them,” he said. “In that same
way, the Birmingham Astronomical Society provides an expanded opportunity for
me to interact regularly with the general public and share what I've
Joining the Birmingham-Southern faculty
in 1999, Pontius received his bachelor's
degree from BSC and his doctorate in space physics and astronomy from Rice
Birmingham Astronomical Society meetings are usually held the
third Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Samford University
Planetarium and are open
to the public. For more information, go to www.bas-astro.com.