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In 2016, the AAS Council (Board of Trustees as of August 2017) created an Education Task Force with the charge to:

  • Survey, categorize, and assess the past and current education-related activities of the Society, including undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate education; pre-K, primary, and secondary education; public outreach, social-media activity, and informal education; professional development of Society members; and astronomy-education research.
  • Collect statistically meaningful data from the Society membership to catalog and assess the amount, breadth, and significance of education-related activity in their astronomy-related and career-related efforts, in all the various categories listed above.
  • Develop, guided by those data and assessments, a coordinated education strategy for the Society, with clear goals and metrics for success, aligned with the best interests of the Society’s members and the mission and vision of the Society; and, if resources will be required, indicate the level and possible origins of those resources (including the AAS).
  • Recommend to the AAS Council a prioritized portfolio of education-related activities for the Society to pursue, in both the short term and long term, which will further the coordinated education strategy and the achievement of its goals.

After extensive data collection, the task force produced a Final Report as well as a collection of white papers submitted by members of the astronomy community.

The AAS thanks the members of the Education Task Force for their work:
  • Nancy Brickhouse (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
  • Gina Brissenden (AAS Executive Office), Staff Liaison
  • Kim Coble (San Francisco State University)
  • David Helfand (Columbia University)
  • Sarah Higdon (Georgia Southern University)
  • Charles Liu (CUNY College of Staten Island), Chair
  • Alice Olmstead (University of Maryland)
  • Ed Prather (University of Arizona)
  • Travis Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage)
  • Alex Rudolph (Cal Poly Pomona)
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