PACS Instructor to Head International Archaeoastronomy Research Group


Steve Gullberg, archaeoastronomer

Dr. Steven Gullberg, PACS instructor and renowned archaeoastronomer, was recently appointed chair of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture. As chair of the group, Gullberg will work with astronomers from 31 countries to further the global advancement of archaeoastronomy and astronomy.

Among astronomers, the group is the focal point within the IAU for research in archaeoastronomy, a growing interdisciplinary area that incorporates astronomy, archaeology and anthropology to study how ancient societies used the phenomena they observed in the sky, as well as the role this played in their cultures. 

“I see great synergies between this and what I want to do globally with our future OU archaeoastronomy program. There’s a significant demand for archaeoastronomy degree programs around the world, and PACS will fulfill this through its high-quality distance learning.”

“The group’s mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation,” Gullberg said. “The organization oversees worldwide astronomy, defines astronomical constants and designates names for new discoveries. It also decided that Pluto was no longer a planet.”

Gullberg’s primary research interests include the astronomy of the Incas in the Peruvian Andes mountains, that of the Babylonians in Mesopotamia and that of early American cultures in New Mexico and Colorado. He has performed considerable research in the field, and he regularly gives talks and publishes his research. He also actively collaborates with others from around the world at international conferences and has steadily gained considerable stature in the field.

Gullberg is currently leading the development of a global educational program in archaeoastronomy for PACS. He said his new IAU position fits well with these efforts.

“I’m honored to have been selected to lead the advancement of archaeoastronomy with like-minded astronomers worldwide,” Gullberg said. “I see great synergies between this and what I want to do globally with our future OU archaeoastronomy program. There’s a significant demand for archaeoastronomy degree programs around the world, and PACS will fulfill this through its high-quality distance learning.”

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.