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L. A. (Lee Anne) Willson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 13/20/56

Scope and Content

The collection (1974-2009, undated) contains biographical information, correspondence, course materials, committee information, and research papers relating to the work of Lee Anne Willson. The collection contains several of Willson’s papers and articles on physics and astronomy. In addition, there are several research grants and notes also included in the papers. The collection also contains information regarding the Iowa State University, Department of Physics. Information on Willson’s involvement in various committees, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Astronomical Society, and the American Association of Variable Star Observers is also in this collection.


  • 1971-2012, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Lee Anne Mordy Willson was born on March 14, 1947, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She received her A. B. (1968) in Physics from Harvard University, and her M. S. (1970) and her Ph.D. (1973) in Astronomy from the University of Michigan. After the completion of her Ph.D., she became an Instructor at Iowa State University (1973-1975). She was promoted to Assistant Professor (1975-1979), Associate Professor (1979-1988) Professor (1988-present). She was named University Professor in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 1993 for her significant impact on the Physics and Astronomy department.

Dr. Willson’s research is focused on the mechanisms and implications of mass loss from stars. She also researches Mira stars and the interaction between dying stars and their planets.

She is deeply involved in several committees. She is currently serving as president of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), chair of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a member of the board of directors with the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). She has previously served on committees for NASA and the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

Dr. Willson and Stephen J. Willson were married July 19, 1969 and have two children, Kendra and Jeffrey.


7.98 Linear Feet (19 document boxes)


The collection is organized into fourteen series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1977-2009, undated (chronological)

Series 2: Classes Taught, 1976-1991, undated (chronological)

Series 3: Research Materials, 1978-2003, undated (chronological)

Series 4: Grants, 1974-2006, undated (chronological)

Series 5: Publications, 1978-2005, undated (chronological)

Series 6: Workshops, Conferences, and Conventions, 1987-2005 (chronological)

Series 7: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1990-2004, undated (chronological)

Series 8: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1998-2004 (chronological)

Series 9: American Astronomical Society, 1986-2002 (chronological)

Series 10: American Association of Variable Star Observers, 1998-2005, undated (chronological)

Series 11: The Astronomical Journal, 1998-2003 (chronological)

Series 12: General Correspondence, 1987-2006, undated (chronological)

Series 13, Subject Files, 1979-2000, undated (chronological)

Items in related collections

RS 13/20. Iowa State University. Department of Physics and Astronomy records

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 13/20/56. L. A. (Lee Anne) Willson papers, 1971-2012, undated
July 1, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672