Edwin Charles Krupp
Ed Krupp in his Griffith Observatory office
|Born||November 18, 1944|
|Other names||Ed, E.C.|
|Education||B.A. Physics/Astronomy (1966), |
M.A. Astronomy (1968)
PhD Astronomy (1972)
|Alma mater||Pomona College (B.A.), University of California, Los Angeles (M.A. and PhD)|
Robin Rector Krupp
(m. 1968; div. 2006)
|Awards||Klumpke-Roberts Award (1989)|
Andrew Gemant Award (2013)
|Fields||Astronomy, Astronomy and Culture|
|Doctoral advisor||George O. Abell|
|Other academic advisors||Robert J. Chambers|
Edwin Charles Krupp (born November 18, 1944) is an American astronomer, researcher, author, and popularizer of science. He is also known as Ed or E.C. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of archaeoastronomy, the study of how ancient cultures viewed the sky and how those views affected their cultures. He has taught at the college level, as a planetarium lecturer, and in various documentary films. He has been the director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles since first taking over the position in 1974 after the departure of the previous director, William J. Kaufmann III. His writings include science papers and journal articles, astronomy magazine articles, books on astronomy and archaeoastronomy for adults, and books explaining sky phenomena and astronomy to children.
Krupp is a member of the American Astronomical Society and the International Astronomical Union, and has served in several divisions and commissions of both organizations. He is also a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and a member of that organization's Council for Media Integrity.
Edwin Charles Krupp was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 18, 1944 where as a child his parents took him to many of the local museums. In 1956 the family moved to Los Angeles where Krupp's father, a mechanical engineer, worked on the Apollo program and then on the Space Shuttle.
In 1961 Krupp attended the Summer Science Program (SSP). Among other things, SSP teaches astronomy to high school students. Krupp has remained active with SSP, first as a graduate student teaching assistant from 1968 to 1972 and later as a frequent guest lecturer. Krupp has said of SSP,
In some respects, SSP remains the most academically cohesive and intense educational experience I have ever had. That, I suspect, is true for most who are fortunate enough to attend it. If it weren't for SSP, my vision would be narrower, my aspirations less ambitious, and my life less rich. I don't exaggerate.
Krupp studied physics and astronomy at Pomona College (the founding member of the Claremont Colleges consortium) in Claremont, California. His undergraduate advisor was Robert J. Chambers. While studying at Pomona College, Krupp participated in cross-country, track, and soccer. He also worked at KSPC, the Pomona College non-commercial community radio station. He lived for two years at the Brackett Observatory, during this time he served as caretaker of the observatory, weatherman, and telescope demonstrator. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966.
Ed pursued graduate studies in astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), receiving a Master of Arts degree in 1968 and PhD in 1972. His Ph.D. dissertation concerned the morphology of rich clusters of galaxies. His graduate adviser was George O. Abell.[a]
Concerning his dissertation, it has been said:
Krupp began his teaching career as a teaching assistant for the Summer Science Program during his graduate school days. Also, during graduate school he taught at the following education institutions:
He became a planetarium lecturer at Griffith Observatory while also still in graduate school. Ed has been a frequent lecturer throughout his career. He has lectured on science based tours he has led and other venues.
Krupp took his first job at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles[b] while he was still a doctoral candidate at UCLA. This was as a part-time planetarium lecturer and Krupp did not enjoy this job at first, saying to his wife Robin, "Gee this isn't science, It's showbusiness." But, after he started noticing the audiences responding with increasing enthusiasm he started saying, "Hey, this is showbusiness."
Krupp was appointed Observatory Curator in 1972 upon completion of his PhD. In 1974 the director of Griffith Observatory, William J. Kaufmann III, left, and Krupp was appointed acting director. In 1976 Krupp's title was changed from "acting" director to director.
As early as 1978 Krupp was aware that the observatory would need a future restoration and that there was a need to update equipment and exhibits. So he and Harold and Debra Griffith[c] co-founded the Friends of the Observatory (FOTO). FOTO aids the mission of the observatory in many ways. FOTO partnered with the city to renovate and expand the observatory raising US$30 million for the effort ($26 million in private funds). The observatory closed its doors in 2002 for the $93 Million dollar renovation and expansion. The entire project was spearheaded by Krupp, and the observatory reopened in the fall of 2006.
In 2014 Griffith Observatory had its 80th anniversary and Krupp his 40th as observatory director. At that time, John Ashton of Sunseeker Tours in Long Beach noted, "It's an L.A. treasure. We get more requests to see this than anything." And, then LA City Councilman Tom LaBonge (whose district included the observatory) observed:
There are many, many, many very special public employees, but there's only one Dr. Edwin C. Krupp. Not only does he have the greatest building in the city. He's got the universe.
Krupp has a special interest in the impact of astronomy on ancient belief systems, and is an internationally recognized expert on traditional astronomies. He is noted for his many contributions to the field on which he has written extensively, and he has visited, and studied, nearly 2,000 prehistoric, and historic sites around the world.
Krupp has traveled around the world for his archaeoastronomy studies. These trips have also taken him to sites close to home such as the Burro Flats pictograph site in the Simi Hills of Southern California, which he first visited in 1979. Over the years, Krupp has made semi-regular trips to that site to conduct solstice observations.
Krupp has shared his studies of archaeoastronomy with the general public by including archaeoastronomy topics in Griffith Observatory planetarium programs, writing books and magazine articles, appearing in documentary films, and leading tours to archaeological sites that are associated with ancient astronomy.
Krupp has written several books for adults and for children. His first two adult books (one being his doctoral dissertation), both derive from the work he did on rich clusters of galaxies while a PhD student at UCLA. His remaining adult books derive from his interests in archaeoastronomy, and contain extensive original research and analysis, while also being educational in nature. They cover astronomy in ancient cultures and the effect of beliefs about the sky on those cultures.
Books authored, partially authored, and/or edited by Krupp for an adult audience:
|The Morphology of Rich Clusters of Galaxies||Edwin C. Krupp||1972||University Microfilms International,
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|Doctoral Dissertation (UCLA)|||
|The Luminosity Function of E-S0 Galaxies in Rich Clusters||Edwin C. Krupp||1974||University of California,
|In Search of Ancient Astronomies||Edwin C. Krupp (editor, principal author)||1978||Doubleday,
Garden City, New York
|Survey of the new scientific discipline of archaeoastronomy, the study of the astronomies of ancient and prehistoric times through archaeology.|||
|Echoes of the Ancient Skies: The Astronomy of Ancient Civilizations[d]||Edwin C. Krupp||1983||Harper & Row,
|The study of ancient peoples' observations of the skies and the impact of those observations on their cultural evolution|||
|Archaeoastronomy and the Roots of Science||Edwin C. Krupp (Editor, Author)||1984||Westview Press,
|Reviews recent research, on the astronomy of worldwide ancient cultures and the effects of astronomy on those cultures.|||
|Beyond the Blue Horizon - Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets||Edwin C. Krupp||1991||HarperCollins,
|A worldwide comparative study of celestial mythology, Skywatchers, Shamans, & Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power|||
|Skywatchers, Shamans, & Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power||Edwin C. Krupp||1996||John Wiley,
|Journey to the world's essential sacred places and celestial shrines and see where the rulers of old communed with the gods of the sky.|||
Krupp has also written full chapters for books edited by other authors, as well as research papers, included in publications of the proceedings of conferences where the papers were presented. Here are some examples
Children themed books, with illustrations by Robin Rector Krupp:
|The Comet and You||1985||Macmillan Publishing Company, New York;
Collier Macmillan, London
|History, appearance, and physical composition of Halley's comet, compares it to other comets, describes its path through the solar system, and its predicted return|||
|The Big Dipper and You||1989||Morrow Junior Books New York||What is known today and past beliefs about the Big Dipper, or Ursa Major. Added information on the North Star, or Polaris.|||
|The Moon and You||1993||Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York;
Macmillan Publishing Company, New York;
Maxwell Macmillan Canada, Toronto;
Maxwell Macmillan International, New York
|Information about the moon, describing its phases, rotation, effect on our tides, and myths and legends.|||
|The Rainbow and You||2000||HarperCollins, New York;
Morrow Junior Books, New York
|How rainbows are formed by the colors in sunlight shining through raindrops.|||
Krupp was once a contributing editor to Sky & Telescope magazine and had a monthly column in that publication. The column was named Rambling Through the Skies and discussed the impact of astronomy on cultural. He has also served as the editor of the Griffith Observer, the monthly magazine published by Griffith Observatory's.
Krupp has written many articles on astronomy and culture for the general reader and dozens of research papers. This list is a mere sampling:
|Whiter Shade of Pale||Sky & Telescope||July 2000||86||A rock that looks like the Milky Way and was used in ceremonies by Native Americans in California.|||
|Inner Glow||Sky & Telescope||December 2004||50||About the underground shrine at Newgrange, Ireland.|||
|The Great 2012 Scare||Sky & Telescope||November 2009||22-26||The Maya Calendar does not predict the end of the world in December 2012.|||
|Archaeoastronomy Unplugged: Eliminating the Fuzz Tone from Rock Art Astronomy||American Indian Rock Art||2006
Volume 21, Vol. 3
|Hiawatha in California||Astronomy Quarterly||1991
Vol. 8, No. 1
|Night Gallery: the Function, Origin, and Evolution of Constellations||Archaeoastronomy||2000||43-63|||
|Egyptian Astronomy: The Roots of Modern Timekeeping||New Scientist||January 3, 1980||24-27|||
|Saluting the Solstice||News from Native California||November 1987
|When Things are Divided in Half||Rock Art Papers San Diego Museum Papers||1990
No. 26, Vol. 7
Krupp has appeared in several documentary films and educational film series. He also has writing credits and scientific advisor credits. These include:
|Project Universe[e]||PBS Telecourse Series (30 half-hour episodes)||1978||Presenter/Writer||Introduction to Astronomy|||
|Time Travel: Fact, Fiction and Fantasy||Documentary/Science Fiction||1985||Cast - Himself|
|Seasons||Short Documentary||1987||Scientific Consultant|
|Secrets and Mysteries
|Documentary Series||1988||Cast - Himself||A look at England's Stonehenge, compared to American sites such as Arizona's Casa Grande and Mystery Hill in New Hampshire.|
|The Complete Cosmos||Short Documentary/Science Fiction Series||1998-1999||Thanks to Ed Krupp and Griffith Observatory||Guide to the wonders of the universe.|
(episode) Atlantis Reborn
|Documentary Series||1999||Cast - Himself|
|Solarmax||Short Documentary||2000||Scientific Advisory Committee||The story of humankind's struggle to understand the sun.|
(episode) Constellations (2008)
(episode) Stonehenge (2014)
(episode) Pyramids (2014)
|Documentary Series||2007-2015||Cast - Himself||Explores many scientific questions and topics about the universe|
(episode) Star Gates
|Documentary Series||2010||Cast - Himself|
|Why We Will Still Be Here on Dec. 21 ||Panel Discussion||2012||Panel Member||Sponsored and filmed by SETI, Why the Mayan calendar does not predict the end of the world.|||
Krupp started his career at Griffith Observatory as a planetarium lecturer. As directory of the observatory he has returned to the Samuel Oschin Planetarium at Griffith Observatory as a writer. He has several planetarium show writing credits.
|Centered in the Universe||Don Dixon,
|Asks fundamental questions about Earth's and humankind's place in the universe.|||
|Time's Up||Laura Danly,
|How time and the universe works and why the Mayan calendar did not predict the end of the world in 2012.|||
|Light of the Valkyries[f]||Laura Danly,
|A voyage of Viking cosmology that explores the true nature of the aurora borealis, the northern lights.|
|First Light: The Telescope Changed Everything||Ed Krupp||How the world changed after Galileo Galilei built the world's finest telescope and pointed it to the sky.|||
Krupp is affiliated with several scientific, astronomical, archaeoatronomical, and educational organizations.
Krupp's writings, and active evangelization of the universe to the public, has resulted in his receiving several awards and honors:
|Award/Honor||When||Awarded By||Description||Work Honored||References|
|Science-Writing Award||1978||American Institute of Physics (AIP)||In Search of Ancient Astronomies|||
|Science-Writing Award||1985||American Institute of Physics (AIP)||The Comet and You[g]|||
|Klumpke-Roberts Award||1989||Astronomical Society of the Pacific||For contributing to the understanding and appreciation of astronomy by the public.|||
|Honorary Doctor of Science||1996||West Coast University|||
|Clifford W. Holmes Award||2002||Riverside Telescope Makers Conference (Riverside, California)||For major contributions toward popularizing astronomy.|||
|Honorary Doctor of Science||2011||Pomona College|||
|Andrew Gemant Award[h]||November 22, 2013||American Institute of Physics (AIP)||Awarded to a person that has made substantial cultural, artistic, or humanistic contributions to physics.|||
|Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award[i]||April 29, 2016||Pomona College||Honors alumni for achievement in professional and community service|||
At the ceremony Catherine O'Riordan, then AIP vice president of Physics Resources said:
Griffith Observatory, where Edwin Krupp has been director for nearly four decades, is the most-visited public observatory in the world. Through telescopes, other public instruments, innovative exhibits, and live astronomical programs, he has brought the heavens to life for millions on the ground.
|journal=(help)CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of December 2020 (link)