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Nominated Office: At-Large Trustee

Affiliation: National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Position/title: Scientist

PhD institution: University of Arizona, Steward Observatory (1991)

Areas of scientific interest:

  • Astronomy Education and Outreach (or Community Engagement)
  • Light Pollution Awareness
  • Starburst galaxies at z ≤ 2

AAS positions & dates:

  • Member, AAS Committee on Light Pollution, Radio Interference & Space Debris (2013-2020)

Other relevant positions and experience:

  • President, Board of Directors, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (2015-2017)
  • Member, Board of Directors, ASP (2010-2019)
  • Past officer & chair of the Education and Awards committees, Board of Directors, International Dark-Sky Association (2011-2017)
  • Vice-President, IAU Commission C.B7 on Observatory Site Protection (2012-2018)
  • Member, IAU Commission C1 on Astronomy Education and Development (2012-)
  • Co-Chair, IAU Inter-Commission B7-C1 WG Achieving Sustainable Development within a Quality Lighting Framework (2015-)
  • Organizer of 4 splinter sessions, a workshop and a special session on LPRISD at winter AAS meetings (2013-2018)
  • Co-organizer of activities for the Local Student Outreach Event at most AAS meetings
  • Co-director of NOAO’s “Teen Astronomy Café” for high school and middle school students (2016-)
  • Supervisor/mentor to undergraduate REU and EPO students (2008-2017)
  • Director of Quality Lighting Teaching Kit program (2015-)
  • Director of Dark Skies Education Kit program (2009-2014)
  • Chair of the International Year of Astronomy Dark Skies Awareness Cornerstone (2009)
  • Director of Globe at Night citizen-science program (2008-)
  • Project ASTRO Tucson site leader (2002-2007)
  • Co-developer of activities for the Hands-on-Optics and the Research Based Science Education programs (2002-2008)

Candidate Statement: I am honored to be considered for the AAS Board of Trustees. Decades ago, Jay Pasachoff invited me as an undergraduate to an education session at my first AAS meeting, an experience that shaped my future. As an astronomer working at National Optical Astronomy Observatory years later, I help create and implement a variety of educational programs (and professional development) in the field of astronomy education and public outreach. These programs bring the passion of professional and amateur astronomers to students at all levels and the general public. I place great hope that today’s children and young adults can be effective leaders of tomorrow. Investments in scientific literacy can tap into the innate thirst we are all born with to understand our place in the universe and help motivate the next generation to achieve their full potential. Organizations like the AAS are an effective means by which cutting-edge educational programs can be put into action. For 20 years, I have been involved with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) and part of their progress in astronomy education. With the experience I have gained in governance through my positions on the ASP Board of Directors as secretary, vice president, and, most recently, president, I am well positioned to help implement the AAS’s vision in “assisting its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels.” I believe that efforts in these areas will “enhance science literacy and lead many to careers in science and engineering.” Enhancement in science literacy should be inextricably tied to upholding diversity and inclusion. If elected, I look forward to contributing to Goal 3 of the AAS Strategic Plan in “re-imagining AAS efforts in education, public outreach and professional development”. Thank you for considering my nomination.

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