The Reginald F. Buller Award for Service is open to SDSU Astronomy Graduate Students in good academic standing with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 who have completed at least one semester of graduate course work at SDSU.
The Reginald F. Buller Award for Service is competitive in nature and primarily based upon service. Applicants must write an essay of no more than 750 words about their interests in astronomy, their career plans, and the extent of their service activities on behalf of the SDSU Astronomy Department and its Mount Laguna Observatory (MLO). (Graduate Students may also use the same essay for the Awona W. Harrington Award for Service). Volunteer activities are viewed most favorably. Such activities include significant participation in: Project ASTRO with public schools, Inner-Space/Outer Space open house for the SDSU College of Sciences, Future Aztec Day to recruit new students for SDSU, Science Olympiad to publicize SDSU to area high school students, unpaid hosting of other on-campus or MLO events, training and support of visiting astronomers, and miscellaneous volunteer services. Activities for pay, such as the MLO Public Viewing or School-Group Programs or on-campus Planetarium shows, although important and may be listed, do not fully embody the concept of service. The Mount Laguna Observatory Associates Board will approve the final selection.
In June 2002, Betty Buller Whitehead, daughter of the late Reginald F. Buller, endowed this award to celebrate her father's life and his service to SDSU's Mount Laguna Observatory. The Reginald F. Buller Award for Service replaces and expands the earlier Mount Laguna Observatory Associates (MLOA) Service Award, which was not endowed. However, the MLOA Board has elected to make regular contributions to the endowment or actual award in an effort to raise the level of support for the students. Individual MLOA members are also encouraged to make contributions in the memory of Reg Buller. Reg was the founding president of the MLOA, an organization that supports the scientific and educational programs of the observatory. He was by trade an industrial chemist with B.S. from the University of Illinois and a Master's from Stanford University. However, Reg was an avid life-long amateur astronomer with a passion for visual observation and public outreach and service in astronomy. Faculty and students remember him for his grace, dignity, warmth, and contagious grin. In addition to being an influential charter member of the MLOA, Reg donated two of his personal telescopes to SDSU in 1988. Thousands of people enjoy the view through these telescopes annually. At MLO, the 21-inch Buller Reflecting Telescope is the centerpiece of our Summer Visitor's Program sponsored jointly with the United States Forest Service. SDSU students use this telescope and the 12-inch Buller Telescope on campus for introductory Astronomy classes and labs.