Riverside Astronomical Society—Outreach, star parties, dark sky site, and you!

Riverside Astronomical Society

Board of Trustees and Club Officers & Directors

As a non-profit organization, the RAS has a Board of Trustees to ensure the club is meeting the goals of its charter and conducting itself in a manner consistent with 501(c)(3) rules and regulations.

The club also has a group of Officers & Directors who carry out and oversee the activities and operations of the club. These are the people, along with participation of the general membership, who keep the club active and strong.

See the Contact Us page to contact RAS Board Members and Officers.

Board of Trustees

Alex McConahay
Board Chairperson

Diane Childs

Rick Debus

Susan Harrington

Bob Massey

Alex McConahay

Ed Ussery

Bill Vining

Club Officers & Directors

Yeti or Rick Debus Rick Debus | Club President
Rick Debus joined the club in 2004 after his interest in astronomy was rekindled by meeting club members at an outreach event connected with the Mars opposition of 2003. He typically observes at GMARS with integrating video cameras instead of eyepieces so he can see deep-sky objects in color in near real-time. He has served as "What's Up?" director since 2008, as a trustee since 2012, as Speaker Director since 2013, as Vice President from 2014 to 2016, and as RAS Club President since January 2016. As a club trustee and officer, he strongly supports the development of GMARS to accommodate the needs and desires of current and future club members and strongly supports the club's outreach program.

Mark Harrington Mark Harrington | Vice President & Secretary
Mark joined RAS after attending a star party with friends. Having no experience in astronomy but a strong background in photography, Mark decided to tackle astrophotography as a retirement hobby. "It has been a challenging road filled with successes and failures, but a challenging hobby keeping me busy in retirement," he says. Mark is passionate about club involvement and hopes to encourage others to help shape the future of the RAS.

Bill Vining, Star Party Director Bill Vining | Treasurer & Membership Director
No bio submitted.

TBA | Star Party Director

Alex McConahay Alex McConahay | GMARS Site Director
Alex joined the RAS in June 1996, after he visited the RAS in the high desert during the Comet Hyakutake outreach. He quickly discovered he could combine camping and astronomy to make a new hobby. For several years, Alex had served as Star Party Coordinator (along with his lovely wife Judy). He has also been volunteering as painter, weed cutter, and whatever else is necessary at GMARS, and junk dealer for the RAS store at the now defunct RTMC. As one of the Riverside Amateur Telescope Makers he has built two telescopes and earned an RTMC Merit Award. He has also spent some time chasing eclipses, and volunteering at RTMC. Alex helped establish the RAS's Astro-Imaging group. He became an RAS Trustee in 2004, was named President in 2006, and became Secretary in 2014. Visit Alex's website.

Bob Massey Bob Massey | GMARS Network Administrator
Bob joined the RAS in 2006 as a result of a chance encounter with RAS evangelist Alex McConahay at a solar astronomy workshop. Like many others, Bob's interest started in his youth and included grinding his own mirror for his homemade 6" reflector. With family raised and careers winding down Bob got serious again about his love of the skies and completed an MS in Astronomy. He is currently the proud occupant of one of the GMARS observatories where he tries valiantly to collect copious amounts of photons. His interests include deep-sky imaging as well as involvement in several pro-am observing collaboration campaigns.

Cheryl Wilcox | Outreach Director
No bio submitted. Frank and Linda Boecker assist the Outreach Director.

Carey Sublette Carey Sublette | Director of Capella Operations
Carey joined the RAS in 2011 with daughter Kedron Eridani (1996-2013). Carey has a life-long interest in astronomy, badgering parents into getting him a 4.25" GEM Newtonian in 6th grade, and getting college credit for an astronomy course taken at UCR in 7th grade. Attending a China Lake star party in 1982 he encountered his first large mirror Dobsonian (a 17.5" Coulter) and developed a desire to someday get access to one for observing. He is a software/enterprise architect, with advanced degrees in Computer Science, and a degree in Ancient History. As Capella Operations Director he provides outreach with Capella at each star party night that he is present.

Lee Greer | Chief Observer & Assistant Director of Capella Operations
Lee has been interested in astronomy since he was a child. The US space program, seeing eclipses, comets, planets, and star gazing as a child all contributed. His first telescope was an older model Meade 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain and he later acquired an old Meade 8" Newtonian. Lee joined Carey Sublette in Capella operations (our club's 22" Dobsonian telescope at GMARS). He holds advanced degrees in biology and an undergraduate degree in English and History. Current interests include the history of cosmology and the ancient and modern formation of humankind's changing views of the universe since the Paleolithic. His website is at https://enlightenmentlegacy.net/cosmos/.

Ed Ussery Ed Ussery | Prime Focus Editor
No bio submitted.

Bob Stephens Bob Stephens | Historian
Bob joined the RAS in 1974 strictly to get extra credit for his astronomy class. As soon as he graduates, he will no longer need to attend meetings and star parties. He has served in several positions with the RAS including President, Treasurer, and Chief Observer. Meanwhile, he has fallen in with bad company, working with several professional astronomers on asteroid research. Over the past 15 years, he has determined rotational periods for over 450 asteroids, written or coauthored over 150 research papers and articles, and observed at Lowell Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Bob is a full member of the American Astronomical Society and received their Chambliss Award for Amateur Achievement. Asteroid (39890) Bobstephens was named for him by the International Astronomical Union—just before demoting Pluto. Bob is also an avid eclipse chaser having seen 13 Total Solar Eclipses and 3 Annular Eclipses. The 4th Annular Eclipse was the one that got away.

TBA TBA | Beginner's Corner

Rich Maschner Rich Maschner | What's Up? Director
Rich has been interested in astronomy since he got his first cardboard-tube telescope from Sears for his 9th birthday. He especially enjoyed observing and documenting the day-to-day movement of sunspots using a welding glass filter that screwed into the eyepiece – scary 1960s technology! More recently, his observing is done using a very well-used Orion 6" Dobsonian, Celestron 8SE, 15x70 binoculars, and SAFE, modern solar filters! He developed and taught an astronomy program for Scouting's High Adventure Training. Rich enjoys sharing astronomy jokes and views through his telescopes with anyone – whether they're interested or not. Serving as the RAS's "What's Up" Director is a perfect way for him to accomplish these goals.

Susan Harrington Susan Harrington | Merchandise Director
Susan joined RAS in 2015 after a visit to GMARS. Susan remembers looking at the Big Dipper with her Dad, inspiring her to take an astronomy class in college. Her favorite deep sky object is M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, in the constellation Canes Venatici.

Janet Parr Janet Parr | Door Prize Coordinator & Meeting Refreshments
Janet Parr, along with her husband, Mike, joined the RAS in 2005 after purchasing a telescope for the 2003 Mars opposition. They decided they needed a hobby after they retired so they would not become couch potatoes. A couple of years after joining RAS, they got two more telescopes and eventually wound up doing astrophotography. Astro-imaging will eventually become another hobby of theirs.

Daniel Perry Daniel Perry | Webmaster & Social Media Director
RAS on: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Daniel joined the RAS in October of 2005. After being introduced to astronomy in the late 70s by his father, Daniel was hooked and spent the next 30+ years buying and selling astronomy equipment looking for that ultimate mount, scope, and camera. Today, he has two observatories at GMARS and he showcases his astrophotos on his personal website, californiastars.net and on his blog.