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Aaron Price

Former AAVSO Assistant Director

Aaron came to the AAVSO to take a break from the dotcom world. His time here rekindled his childhood love of astronomy and a short break in 1998 turned into a career change.  In 2011, Aaron earned a Ph.D. from the Tufts University Math, Science, Technology, and Engineering Education (MSTE) program.  Aaron left the AAVSO in 2012 for a great opportunity at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Research Interests

His education research interests involve the learning of science by older adults, the use of stereoscopic presentations to teach highly spatial concepts, the link between spatial and temporal cognition, and education research methodology.

In astronomy, Aaron's research has focused on cataclysmic variable stars and analysis of large datasets of visual variable star observations. He is also very active in the education and public outreach community within astronomy.

Publications (peer-reviewed)

Education Research

  •   Price, A. & Lee, H-S. (submitted). Changes in Participants’ Scientific Attitudes and Epistemological Beliefs During an Astronomical Citizen Science Project, Journal of Research in Science Teaching.
  •   Lee, H.-S., Liu, O. L., Price, C. A., & Kendall, A. (2011). College students' temporal magnitude recognition ability associated with durations of scientific changes. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(3), 317-335.
  •   Price, A. & Lee, H. S. (2009). The effect of two-dimensional and stereoscopic presentation on middle school students’ performance of spatial cognition tasks. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 19, 9. (link)
  •    Price, A., et al. (2009). The Astronomy Education Research Charter. Astronomy Education Review, 8, 3. (link)
  •    Price, C. A. (2009). Astrobiology for Knowledge Transfer. In Meech, K. J., et al. (eds.) Bioastronomy 2007: Molecules, Microbes, and Extraterrestrial Life. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific. (link)
  •    Price, A. (2008) "Podcasting". In J. Pasachoff, R. M. Ros (eds.) Innovation in Astronomy Education. Cambridge: Cambridge Press. (link)
  •    Price, A., Gay, P., Searle, T. and Brissenden, G. (2006). A history and informal assessment of the slacker astronomy podcast. Astronomy Education Review, 5(1), 53-69. (link)
  •    Price, A., Cohen, L., Mattei, J. A., and Craig, N. (2006). A Needs Analysis Study of Amateur Astronomers For the National Virtual Observatory. Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, 34, 251. (link)


  •   Price, A., Masiero, J., Henden, A. H., et. al. (2009). Polarimetry and the long awaited superoutburst of BZ UMa. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 121, 885. (link)
  •   Price, A., Henden, A. H., Foster, G., et al. (2007) SS Cygni outburst predictors and long term quasi-periodic behavior. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 119, 1361-1366. (link)
  •   Price, A., et al. (2006). “Planetary Transits of the Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey Candidate TrES-1b”. Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. 32, 29. (link)
  •   Price, A. and Klingenberg, G. (2005). “Secular Evolution of Z Tau”. Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. 32, 19. (link)
  •  Price, A., Gary, B., Bedient, J., Cook, L., Templeton, M. et al. (2004) A new cataclysmic variable in Hercules. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 116, 1117-1122. (link)
  •  Shankland, P. D., Rivera, E. J., Laughlin, G., Blank, D. L., Price, A., et al. (2006) On the Search for Transits of the Planets Orbiting Gliese 876. Astrophysical Journal, 653, 700. (link)
  • Price, A., Vanmunster, T., Starkey, D., Boyd, D., Zissell, R., et al. (2004). Flickering and Periodic Activity in the 2004 Outburst of BZ UMa. International Bulletin of Variable Stars, 5526, 1. (link)
  • Price, A., Cook, L., Vanmunster, T., Messier, D., Boyd, D, et al. (2003). Superhumps in the 2003 UV Per Superoutburst, International Bulletin of Variable Stars, 5488, 1. (link)
  • Price, A.; Achee, C. G.; Aquino, B.; Beaver, D.; Broens, E., et al. (2003). GRB030329: Multicolor Light Curve and Ionospheric Detection, International Bulletin of Variable Stars, 5415, 1. (link)
  • Price, A., Templeton, M. R., Mattei, J. A. (2003). A Revised Period for AY Aur, International Bulletin of Variable Stars, 5383, 1. (link)


  • PI of 2011 NSF Informal Science Education grant #1114645 (3 years, 660K) 
  • Co-PI, principal author and project director of 2009 NSF Informal Science Education grant #0840188 (3 years, 790K)
  • Co-PI of NSF Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences grant #1108238 (2 years, 80K)
  •   Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award, 212th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (June, 2008)
  •   Chair of the Citizen Science Working Group for the United States' activities in the 2009 International Year of Astronomy and member of the U. S. Program Committee. (2007-2009)
  •   First Prize, 11th Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium at Tufts University (April, 2007)
  •   Blue Ribbon Technical Award, 2nd National Virtual Observatory Summer School (September, 2005)
  •   Creator of Slacker Astronomy podcast and head writer for 2005-2007 (73 episodes and #9 on iTunes Top Science Podcasts). In this role, he was interviewed by BBC 5 "Live", NPR's Kojo Nnamdi Show and WGBH's Morning Stories.

More Info

His favorite astronomical joke:
Q: How many astronomers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: 1 +/- 3,091.47
AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484