Shelley Bonus, an instructor with UCLA Extension’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), was recently awarded the 2016 AstronomyOutreach Award for her lifetime of work around the world in public educational outreach in astronomy.
As the Mt. Wilson Observatory Telescope Coordinator, Bonus has been operating telescopes and teaching about cosmology, astronomy, space exploration, and writing at UCLA Extension for more than 25 years. Bonus is an astronomer, writer, lecturer and science translator for stargazers of all ages all over the world. The AstronomyOutreach Network honored her with this lifetime achievement award for her “gift of translating and teaching (often in various languages) some of the most complicated aspects of cosmology and astrophysics … with humor and acute technical accuracy.”
Bonus has received numerous other honors in her career – including, but not limited to, the time the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid after her, citing her unique method of translating the most difficult of scientific discoveries to the public. The author of several astronomy texts, including the Solar System Guide for Carl Sagan’s Planetary Society, Bonus wrote the content for Caltech’s Infrared Astronomy website COOLCOSMOS, and continues to write the very popular “Space E! Tracy Planetarium Shows and Lectures.” Bonus is also an archeo-astronomer, linguist, and presentation coach.
“Shelley is one of our most beloved OLLI instructors, and she has a following of students who take her courses quarter after quarter,” said OLLI Program Manager Evan McGinnis. “She is exceptionally dynamic in the classroom, and uses her strong command of the subject matter to create rewarding experiences for everyone she teaches. Many students tell us her courses are the highlight of their time in our program.”