Arne Henden, Director of the AAVSO, took Vance Petriew by surprise when he asked him to come forward for a special Director's Service Award at the Banquet of Astronomy Roundup 2007 in Calgary, Alberta.
Vance took on the challenge of amassing and converting over 70,000 records at the AAVSO. Here is their write-up from the AAVSO Web site, www.aavso.org/aavso/about/volunteers.shtml
|AAVSO Director Arne Henden presents award to Vance Petriew photo: James Edgar|
Vance joined the AAVSO in 2002. Shortly after he joined the Organization, the AAVSO formed the Comparison Star Database Working Group. The goal of this team was to document all the comparison stars on every AAVSO star chart! AAVSO staff knew they did not have the time to do this alone so they formed a team of volunteers to help. After only a couple of months, it was clear that staff did not have the expertise or time to create and maintain a database of such size. Vance stepped up to the plate and agreed to lead this team which is now just a month or two away from completing the documentation of 70,614 stars!
Vance Petriew with his Obsession Dobsonian telescope
Vance is not stopping there. He has agreed to lead the team through the next phase of the project which includes updating the photometry of each star. That means going through the astronomical literature and finding the latest calibrated values for the stars. It is a daunting task, but Vance and his team have already proven they can do it.
Other members of the team are: Rick L. Merriman (MWR), Keith Graham (GKA), Tim Hager (HTY), Carlo Gualdoni (GCO), Roy Axelsen (ARX), Brian Skiff (BAS), Dan Taylor (TDB), Joe Maffei (MFJ), Curt Schneider (SUF), Christopher Watson (WCH), Arno van Werven (VWA), Mark Munkacsy (MMU), Jim Bedient (BJS), Radu Corlan (CXR), Dolores Sharples (SDP), Ben Cacace (CBE), Steven Fanutti (FSU), and Doug Hodgson (HWD).
Vance Petriew has been President of the RASC Regina Centre, and is currently Vice-President; he's the Centre Webmaster, and is involved in community outreach and education, plus his discovery of Comet Petriew at the Saskatchewan Summer Star Party in 2001 is a highlight of his life.