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OU Faculty Member Appointed Chair of International Astronomical Working Group

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NORMAN – A University of Oklahoma professor, Steven Gullberg, has been appointed world chair for archeoastronomy by the International Astronomical Union. As chair, Gullberg will work with 31 nations to further the research and global advancement of archeoastronomy and astronomy in culture.

“It is a true privilege to be entrusted by the International Astronomical Union to guide the study of indigenous astronomy into the future,” said Gullberg, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies. “My fine colleagues from around the world will be key to our success and it is a great honor that OU will now be at the forefront of these advancements in global research.”

Gullberg has research interests in the astronomy of the Incas in the Peruvian Andes, the Babylonians in Mesopotamia and early American cultures in New Mexico. A growing field, archeoastronomy studies how ancient societies used the phenomena they observed in the sky, as well as the role that this played in their cultures.

The IAU oversees worldwide astronomy. A global group of astronomers, its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. Defining astronomical constants and designating names for new discoveries are two examples of its many activities.