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SARA Announces 2009 Keynote Speaker
For more information contact: Dr. H. Paul Shuch, Executive Director Emeritus
(201) 641-1770, or email info_at_setileague_dot_org

Little Ferry, NJ.., January 2009 -- The Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA), a SETI League Affiliated Society that represents several hundred amateur radio astronomers around the world, is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Jill Cornell Tarter, one of the world's best known and highly respected radio astronomers, as Keynote Speaker for its annual technical conference, being held from 28 June to 1 July 2009 at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, WV. Dr. Tarter's presentation, titled "The Allen Telescope Array: The Newest Pitchfork For Exploring the Cosmic Haystack," is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday morning, 30 June 2009.

Dr. Tarter, who holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA, received her Bachelor of Engineering Physics Degree with Distinction from Cornell University, and her Master's Degree and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. She 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.

Tarter's work has brought her wide recognition in the scientific community, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace, two Public Service Medals from NASA, Chabot Observatory's Person of the Year award (1997), Women of Achievement Award in the Science and Technology category by the Women's Fund and the San Jose Mercury News (1998), and the Tesla Award of Technology at the Telluride Tech Festival (2001). She was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2002 and a California Academy of Sciences Fellow in 2003. In 2004 Time Magazine named her one of the Time 100 most influential people in the world, and in 2005 Tarter was awarded the Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization at Wonderfest, the biannual San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science.

Tarter is deeply involved in the education of future citizens and scientists. In addition to her scientific leadership at NASA and SETI Institute, Tarter has been the Principal Investigator for two curriculum development projects funded by NSF, NASA, and others. The first, the Life in the Universe series, created 6 science teaching guides for grades 3-9 (published 1994-96). Her second project, Voyages Through Time, is an integrated high school science curriculum on the fundamental theme of evolution in six modules: Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution and Evolution of Technology (published 2003). Tarter is a frequent speaker for science teacher meetings and at museums and science centers, bringing her commitment to science and education to both teachers and the public. Many people are now familiar with her work as portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie Contact.

At its 2009 gathering, Jill Tarter will be helping SARA to celebrate the club's 28th Anniversary. Members and guests are invited to participate in the annual Conference. Any SARA or SETI League member wishing to present a paper is invited to review SARA's 2009 Call for Papers. Further information about SARA can be found on their website,

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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