In Memoriam: Irene Osterbrock, 1926-2019

Irene Osterbrock, widow of former Lick Observatory Director Donald Osterbrock, longtime University of California Santa Cruz Library volunteer, and generous supporter of early-career scientists, died on February 2. She was 92 years old.

While her husband Donald was director of the Lick Observatory at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Irene played a constant role in his career by editing his work and organizing his records. She also spent more than 20 years as a volunteer in the university’s library where she managed astronomy archives and helped researchers locate materials. In 2011, the American Astronomical Society recognized her contributions to the field by naming her a Patron of the Society.

After her husband’s death in 2001, Irene worked with university’s faculty to establish the Donald and Irene Osterbrock Leadership Program, which provides astronomy graduate students with mentors and funding for projects that develop leadership skills.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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