Judy Beck

Senior Lecturer of Physics and Astronomy

Contact Information

  • jbeck@unca.edu
  • 251-6049
  • 124A Rhoades/Robinson Hall

Judy has been a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at UNC Asheville since 1999. She teaches physics for majors and non-majors, astronomy, special topics courses, and science education. She is active in science outreach for schools, teachers, and the general public, and she co-directs the Science Olympiad tournament hosted by UNC Asheville each year. In 2008 she spent the year living and working in La Serena, Chile, with the support of a Rotary University Teacher Grant and Off-Campus Scholarly Leave from UNC Asheville. While in Chile, Judy taught classes in the physics department at the university and collaborated with colleagues on astronomy outreach, teacher professional development workshops, and inquiry-based science curriculum development for schools.


  • M.S. in Astronomy, UNC Chapel Hill, 1988

Research Interests

Judy's early research work was in astronomy. Now she focuses on research involving the teaching of physics and astronomy. For example, she has co-authored physics and astronomy resource manuals for college instructors. She is also regional co-director of the Science Olympiad, which is part of a national program fostering innovative science activities and challenges for middle school students. Judy is also the Science Licensure Coordinator for our Department of Education.

Selected Publications

  1. Judith A. Beck and Leo Connolly, Instructor's Resource Manual accompanying Astronomy: A Beginner's Guide to the Universe, 4th ed. by Eric J. Chaisson and Steve McMillan (Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2004).
  2. Katherine M. Whatley and Judith A. Beck, Instructor's Resource Manual accompanying Physics, 2nd ed. by James S. Walker (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2004).
  3. Judith A. Beck and Katherine M. Whatley, Instructor's Resource Manual accompanying College Physics, 5th ed. by Jerry D. Wilson and Anthony J. Buffa (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2003).
  4. Katherine M. Whatley and Judith A. Beck, Instructor's Resource Manual accompanying Physicsby James S. Walker (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002).
  5. Judith A. Beck, "Women in Science in the US: Status and Strategies," in International Symposium on Astrophysics Research and Science Education, edited by C. Impey (Vatican Observatory Foundation and The University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1999), pp. 13-19.
  6. J. Storm, B. W. Carney, and J. Beck, J., "BV Photometry of RR Lyrae Variables in the Globular Cluster M5," Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 103, 1264 (1991).