UC Berkeley professor honored with Black History Month award

Assemblyman Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond, on Monday honored University of California at Berkeley professor of astronomy Gibor Basri with the district’s Black History Month award.

Thurmond said in a statement:

“We tell our children to dream, and we tell them to reach for the stars. Dr. Basri is that too rare individual who has both dreamed and touched stars in ways that few have.”

Basri, who holds a doctorate in astrophysics, has been an expert in the study of star formation and in 2001 was a co-investigator on a successful proposal to NASA for the Kepler mission to search for earth-sized planets around other stars.

Thurmond said while Basri has been successful, he has also remembered his community.

Basri has served as a member of the board of directors of Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center and as a member of the board of directors of the “I Have a Dream, Oakland” Foundation, an organization that provides Oakland students with college scholarships, tutoring and summer enrichment programs.

Basri is UC Berkeley’s first vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, overseeing efforts to recruit, retain and promote diversity among faculty, students and staff.

He has been a professor of astronomy at the university for more than 30 years.

Basri was born in New York City and was raised in Fort Collins, Colorado.

He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Stanford University and a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.