1 October 2021

Free Outreach Workshop at AAS 239

Gregory Schultz Astronomical Society of the Pacific

Andrew Fraknoi Fromm Inst./U of San Francisco

AAS 239 Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop Banner
AAS 239 Astronomy Ambassadors workshop banner.
  • What: A free workshop for early career astronomers who want to do better outreach with students and the public
  • When: Saturday & Sunday, 8 & 9 January 2022, in conjunction with the 239th AAS meeting
  • Where: Salt Lake City, Utah

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) and the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) On-the-Spot Feedback (OTSF) project are sponsoring a free skill-building workshop — and an ongoing community of practice — to support early career astronomers in providing effective outreach to students, families, and the public. Working with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), the Portal to the Public Network, and other outreach organizations, the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program (now in its 10th year) offers two days of hands-on training, extensive resources, and pre-tested activities — plus the opportunity to join a like-minded group of peers. We are seeking a cohort of new AAS Astronomy Ambassadors.

Photo from AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop
Participants practicing hands-on activities during the 2020 AAS Astronomy Ambassadors workshop in Honolulu at the 235th AAS meeting. Photo by Andrew Fraknoi.

If you are a graduate student, postdoc, new faculty, or senior undergraduate in astronomy or a closely related field, and if you’re interested in spending a fraction of your time helping students and the public become more scientifically literate, this is an invitation to sharpen your outreach skills and join the growing AAS Astronomy Ambassadors community, which now includes more than 230 members.

The AAS Astronomy Ambassadors workshop will be held on the Saturday and Sunday before the start of the 239th AAS meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, in January 2022. Participants will spend two active days learning OTSF and other effective public engagement techniques, examining selected materials, and getting to know each other and an existing community of astronomers doing outreach. There will be sessions appropriate for those who have done outreach already and for those who are more novices or beginners. No experience is required, though some is helpful. We especially want to encourage participation by members of groups underrepresented in science.

Workshop costs are being underwritten by the AAS and the NSF OTSF grant, so registration (for the workshop only, not for the AAS meeting), materials, and two days’ lunches are free. If necessary, we can also reimburse you for up to two nights’ lodging at one of the designated meeting hotels if your attendance at the workshop requires you to travel to the meeting venue earlier than you otherwise would. (Participants are expected to be members of the AAS or to join, and to register for the AAS meeting itself. Note that significantly reduced membership fees are available to students and educators.)

Applications are being accepted now and must be in no later than Friday, 12 Sunday, 14 November 2021. However, space is limited, and successful applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, so we urge you to get your application in before all the spaces are gone.

Apply for the AAS 239 Astronomy Ambassadors Workshop

For more information, see "The AAS Ambassadors Program: Training Early Career Astronomers for Effective Outreach" on the AAS Education Committee blog.

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