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SETI League Announces Annual Awards
For more information contact: Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director Emeritus
(201) 641-1770, or email info_at_setileague_dot_org

Little Ferry NJ.., 19 April 2009 -- At its Annual Meeting this afternoon at its New Jersey headquarters, the nonprofit SETI League, leaders in a global search for extra-terrestrial intelligence, recognized two individuals for major contributions to the art and science of SETI. Honored this year for their efforts and accomplishments were Dr. Jill Tarter of the United States, and Prof. Alex Antonites of South Africa.

The SETI League recognized Dr. Jill Tarter, who holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute, California, with its annual Giordano Bruno Memorial Award, for technical excellence in the service of SETI. Certainly one of the world's best known radio astronomers, Dr. Tarter served as Project Scientist for NASA's SETI program, the High Resolution Microwave Survey, and has conducted numerous observational programs at radio observatories worldwide. Since the termination of funding for NASA's SETI program in 1993, she has served in a leadership role to secure private funding to continue the exploratory science. Currently, she serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array, a joint project between the SETI Institute and the UC Berkeley Radio Astronomy Laboratory. When this innovative array of 350 6-m antennas begins operations at the UC's Hat Creek Radio Observatory, it will simultaneously survey the radio universe for known and unexpected sources of astrophysical emissions, and speed up the search for radio emissions from other distant technologies by orders of magnitude.

Alex Antonites, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria, was selected to receive The SETI League's annual Orville Greene Service Award, for exemplary volunteer service to the nonprofit organization. A longtime member of The SETI League, Prof. Antonites continues to serve as The SETI League's first volunteer Regional Coordinator for the Republic of South Africa. He has written technical articles and guest editorials for The SETI League website and SearchLites, its quarterly journal, given countless media interviews about SETI science, technology, and philosophy, and made SETI presentations over the years on college campuses, at museums and science centers, and to amateur radio clubs. His efforts have done much to gain recognition for SETI in South Africa and beyond, as a respectable scientific pursuit.

As neither award recipient was able to be present at today's meeting, formal award presentations will occur in the near future. SETI League executive director emeritus Prof. H. Paul Shuch plans to present Tarter with her plaque at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank WV, in late June, where she will be Keynote Speaker for the annual SARA Conference. He will similarly honor Antonites in person at a planned 2011 International Astronautical Congress in South Africa, should no prior opportunity present itself.

In other actions at today's meeting, the Board of Trustees accepted the Executive Director's and Secretary/Treasurer's annual reports; adopted a 2009 budget; re-elected its officers (Richard Factor, WA2IKL, President; A. Heather Wood, Secretary/Treasurer; H. Paul Shuch, N6TX, Executive Director Emeritus) to serve on a volunteer basis for an additional one-year term; approved an extension of new SETI League memberships dues for members in good standing of affiliate society SARA, the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers; and agreed to continue cost sharing of the Executive Director Emeritus' health insurance premiums.

Largely using radio telescopes and optical telescopes, SETI scientists seek to determine whether humankind is alone in the universe. Since Congress terminated NASA's SETI funding in 1993, The SETI League and other scientific groups have privatized the research. Amateur and professional scientists interested in participating in the search for intelligent alien life, and citizens wishing to help support it, should email join_at_setileague_dot_org, check the SETI League Web site at, send a fax to +1 (201) 641-1771, or contact The SETI League, Inc. membership hotline at +1 (800) TAU-SETI. Be sure to provide us with a postal address to which we will mail further information. The SETI League, Inc. is a membership-supported, non-profit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific corporation dedicated to the scientific Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.

P.S. Tearsheets are always appreciated. Thank you.

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