nass news 2022 dec DSnyder dialDon Snyder, long time NASS member, sundial designer and conference organizer, died Nov. 21, 2022 at the age of 87. He organized two St. Louis conferences for NASS in 2008 and 2017. For the first St. Louis conference, Don worked closely with Michael Olsen of the Missouri Botanical Garden to have five sundials available for viewing, including the dedication of a dial donated by Ron Rinehard, the Schmoyer sundial made by NASS member Bill Gottesman and donated to the Garden by Don and Bill, and in the Ottoman Garden, the Ottoman Sundial designed by NASS member Roger Bailey based on the 1845 dial at Topkapi Palace, Istanbul.

nass news 2022 dec DSnyder photoAt the 2017 NASS conference in St. Louis, Don organized a ring-side seat at Jefferson Barracks to watch the total solar eclipse. Don worked with Perry County and Perryville, a town on the eclipse path, to create a new sundial for the courthouse gardens in honor of the eclipsing sun. Local craftspeople then created the dial following Don's design.

Don was always available to help other sundialists, offering advice and technical assistance. He helped restore a sundial at Concordia Seminary, established a Sundial Trail of dials around St. Louis, and for a decade checked the links on the NASS website for accuracy and relevance. With his hobby of woodworking, Don made a dial for the 25th anniversary of NASS (1993-2018) that projected solar time in colors on the dial face.

Don was a senior professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. He was the Samuel C. Sachs Professor of Electrical Engineering and chair of the department from 1976 to 1986 as well as a professor of radiology at the School of Medicine. As the founding director of the Electronic Systems and Signals Research Laboratory from 1986 to 1998 he tackled imagery problems in biomedicine, astronomy and remote sensing. In the Washington University Newsletter, they noted that when the Hubble space telescope was launched and had a blurry focal plane, Don proposed a novel image reconstruction approach. A version of this sharpening algorithm has been used on all subsequent images.