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232nd AAS Meeting Event Descriptions

Please note: The workshops and events listed on this page are only those that require or allow registration through the meeting registration form. There may be other workshops and events during the meeting that are not listed here. See the online program for information on all events.

All workshop organizers, moderators, and attendees must be registered for the AAS meeting at which the workshop will take place. Those attending a workshop only and not the rest of the AAS meeting will be charged a one-day registration fee in addition to the individual workshop fee.


Using Python to Search NASA's Astrophysics Archives

Sunday, 3 June | 10:30 am − 12:00 pm
Organizer: Vandana Desai, IPAC/Caltech
No Fee
NASA's Astrophysics Archives preserve many terabytes of multiwavelength images, catalogs, and spectra. While many astronomers are familiar with the web tools that are convenient for searching and visualizing these data, this workshop will introduce participants to the command-line data access tools that are becoming increasingly popular. We will use Python to work through science scenarios that combine multiwavelength data from the HEASEARC, IRSA, NED, and MAST. Workshop organizers will also be available to help participants access NASA data sets for use on their own projects. Participants are encouraged to contact the Organizer upon registration to receive materials prior to the workshop.

Using Anchored Inquiry to Teach Astronomy and Physics

Sunday, 3 June | 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Organizer: Zoe Buck Bracey, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study
Fee: $60
Using an anchored inquiry instructional model to teach astronomy and physics at the high school and college level can motivate student learning, improve student outcomes, and help students from all backgrounds forge an identity in the sciences. In this workshop, you will experience a taste of anchored inquiry through a sequence of activities, then learn about the theoretical and empirical basis for this instructional model. You will leave with several concrete strategies for planning and maintaining a coherent, anchored inquiry storyline in your astronomy or physics class.

One-on-One Career Consultations (20-Minute Sessions)

Monday, 4 June − Tuesday, 5 June
Organizer: Diane Frendak, AAS Director of Membership Services
Fee: $20
Alaina Levine of Quantum Success Solutions, a career consultant, science writer, professional speaker, and comedian, will meet individually with attendees to provide confidential, customized career advice for people from student through mid-career. Attendees are encouraged to bring CV/résumé, cover letter, and/or any other item you wish to have evaluated. Registrants will be contacted starting 16 March to schedule their individual appointments.

Career Planning Workshop for Graduate Students and Postdocs

Monday, 4 June | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Organizer: Alaina Levine, Quantum Success Solutions
No Fee
Once you think you know what you want to do, what are the next steps to take? This FREE workshop and panel discussion explores the various career paths available to astronomy-educated professionals, the skill sets needed to pursue specific jobs, and how to best market yourself depending on which career you want to pursue. We will present strategies and tactics for acing your job interviews, job searching, networking, and even negotiating with a panel of successful stars of astronomy and beyond! 

CAE Workshop: How to Interactively Teach — and Improve — Students’ Quantitative Problem-Solving Skills

Tuesday, 5 June | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Organizer: Colin Wallace, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Fee: $35
Looking for a new way to help your students majoring in astronomy, physics, and other STEM fields to improve their quantitative problem-solving skills? We have all felt the frustration that comes from modeling how to solve problems in class, only to have students demonstrate during office hours, on homework questions, and on exams that they failed to improve their problem-solving abilities. However, there is another way to develop these abilities while also having students actively solve complex problems in your classroom. In this workshop, we introduce a unique instructional methodology designed to help faculty successfully engage students in collaborative group problem-solving. We will show how to use sequences of Think-Pair-Share questions (which students can vote on using ABCD voting cards or clicker software) to first get students to create their own solutions, focus students’ attention on specific steps along the solution pathway, and force students to discuss their ideas about how to apply the relevant astronomy, physics, and mathematics. A recent study of students taught in a physics course using these methods has revealed improvements in test scores by as much as two letter grades over traditional lecture-based instruction — even for classes with hundreds of students, with limited teaching-assistant support, and taught by a first-time teacher. Faculty will learn how to use this instructional methodology to develop question sequences that (1) target specific student problem-solving difficulties, (2) promote student-student discourse on key astrophysics and physics topics, and (3) provide real-time feedback to students and faculty on how well students are doing. Co-presenter: Edward Prather, Center for Astronomy Education, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona.

Splinter Meetings

​Astronomy Research Seminars Workshop

Monday, 4 June | 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Organizers: Russell Genet, California Polytechnic State University
Rachel Freed, Sonoma State University
Sponsor: PlaneWave Instruments
No fee; Complimentary with meeting registration; Open to all attendees
Astronomy Research Seminars are offered by a rapidly growing number of community colleges and universities. Over the past decade some 120 student team research papers have been published with approximately 500 coauthors. Each team manages their own research, obtains and analyzes original data, writes a team paper, obtains external review, submits their paper for publication, and gives a public PowerPoint presentation. The student teams are supported by: (1) an extensive community-of-practice which consists of professional and amateur astronomers, educators, and Seminar graduates; (2) the Institute for Student Astronomical Research (; (3) the Small Telescope Astronomy Research Handbook; and (4) an in-person/online, open-source Canvas learning management system with videos, quizzes, and other, extensive supporting material. Team research projects are completed in a semester or less and are managed by the students themselves. The Seminars have expanded from double star astronomy to asteroid astrometry, eclipsing binary times of minima, and exoplanet transits. Conducting authentic research inspires students, provides them with important skills in teamwork, project management and scientific literacy, and gives them confidence in their abilities to participate in scientific research. Being coauthors of published papers boosts student educational careers with respect to admissions and scholarships. The workshop will describe the Seminars and provide aid to those who would like to initiate their own Seminar. The NSF grant, Student Research within Communities of Practice, has funded the expansion and evaluation of the Seminars.

​Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Minorities (SGMA) Meet & Greet for LGBTQIA Members and Students

Monday, 4 June | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Organizer: Stephen Lawrence, Hofstra University & Committee on Sexual-Orientation & Gender Minorities in Astronomy SGMA
No fee; Complimentary with meeting registration; Open to all attendees
The AAS Committee for Sexual-Orientation and Gender Minorities in Astronomy (SGMA) works to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, and asexual individuals within our profession. If you are LGBTQIA+, a friend or ally, or just interested in learning more about us, please join us for refreshments, networking and conversation. SGMA would like to thank the AAS Council for their generous sponsorship of this event.

The Cosmic Perspective — Author Q&A

Monday, 4 June | 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Organizer: Jeffrey Bennett, Big Kid Science
No fee; Complimentary with meeting registration; Open to all attendees
Please join us for drinks and appetizers during an open Q&A session with the four authors of The Cosmic Perspective textbook series. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you might have, whether about our textbook, our author-written Mastering Astronomy site, introductory astronomy courses in general, pedagogical approaches, or any other related topics. The first 50+ attendees will receive a free children’s book from Big Kid Science.


Student Orientation Reception & Grad School Fair

Sunday, 3 June | 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Complimentary with meeting registration
Is Denver your first AAS meeting? Are you looking for a graduate program or Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) opportunity? Are you overwhelmed by the AAS meeting? Are you looking to connect with other students and faculty? Then the Student Orientation & Grad School Fair is for you! When you register, make sure to sign up for this fun and informative event.

Opening Reception

Sunday, 3 June | 7:00 pm − 8:30 pm
Complimentary with meeting registration
Join your colleagues as we kick-off the 232nd AAS meeting in Denver. This is a great time to network, socialize, eat, drink, and gear up for an exciting week.

Closing Reception

Thursday, 7 June | 1:10 pm – 1:40 pm
Complimentary with meeting registration
Join us one last time to say farewell to your colleagues until the next AAS meeting.


Purchase Carbon Offsets

Contribute up to $150 to the purchase of carbon offsets
More than 90% of the carbon emissions from a typical scientific meeting come from participants' travel to the meeting. We are encouraging participants to contribute up to $150 toward the purchase of carbon offsets, which will be used for a variety of third-party certified projects to reduce carbon emissions. Offsets are not a panacea but will go a small way toward compensating for the meeting's carbon footprint.