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John Cowan

John Cowan

David Ross Boyd Professor Emeritus

Astrophysics & Cosmology

A photo of John Cowan.



Office: NH 210

Phone: (405) 325-6222




B.A. George Washington University (1970)

M.S. Case Western Reserve University (1972)

Ph.D. University of Maryland (1976)


I am an emeritus professor in astronomy and astrophysics. While I am no longer teaching or advising students, I am continuing my research studies.

Most all of the elements are produced in stars. My work involves understanding the origin of those elements, particularly the heaviest, in nature. I have focused on determining and explaining the abundances of the heavy elements observed in the oldest stars in our Galaxy and the Universe.

Awards & Honors

  • General Education Teaching Award (2009)
  • Kinney-Sugg Outstanding Professor Award in the College of Arts and Sciences (2004)
  • David Ross Boyd Professorship (2002 - present)
  • Samuel R. Noble Presidential Professorship (1998 - 2002)
  • Regents' Award for Superior Teaching (1991)
  • Regents' Award for Superior Research & Creative Activity (1990)
  • Good Teaching Award