Carolyn S. Shoemaker

Carolyn S. Shoemaker

Doctor of Science

Carolyn Shoemaker was born in Gallup, New Mexico and educated in California at the Chico State College where she received her Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in 1949 and her Mater of Arts in 1950. She was a teacher and homemaker until the age of 52 when she began her work in Astronomy at the Palomar Observatory. She received her Doctor of Science from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1990.

Ms. Shoemaker has developed efficient stereoscopic techniques for scanning films taken with Palomar Observatory's 46cm Schmidt camera. These techniques have made possible more than a two-fold increase in the rate of sky coverage with the46cm Schmidt. She has discovered more that 800 asteroids, 350 which are now numbered, and is credited with discovering 32 comets, including shoemaker-Levy9 which collided with Jupiter in 1994. At that time she was an equal partner on CNN television with David Levy (Canada) and Eugene Shoemaker.

From 1980 to the present, she has been a visiting scientist, Branch of Astrogeology, US Geological Survey and is a Research Professor of Astronomy at Northern Arizona University as well as a staff member at Lowell Observatory. She has served on several boards, including Planetary Science Institute, Minor Planet Research, and the International Spaceguard Association. She is currently on the Council of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and on the Executive Board of the Western Region, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For her efforts, Ms. Shoemaker was recognized with the Women of Distinction Award, Soroptimist International in 1994. She has been the co-recipient of several honours with her husband, Eugene Shoemaker, including the Rittenhouse Medal from the Rittenhouse Astronomical Society (1988), National Academy of Science, James C. Watson Medal (1988). She is also a Fellow of the American Association of Science.