Events

Events2020-11-06T19:39:34-06:00

I love to teach! In the past, I’ve spent hundreds of hours giving tours of the sky through my telescopes at astronomy outreach events, and I’ve presented for a wide range of organizations, from 4-H clubs to the Houston Astronomical Society and American Association of Variable Star Observers. If you’d like to request an event for your organization, please contact me.

Upcoming events:
Nov. 6th, 2020 17:4018:25 UT – Let the Earth do the work! High Quality Spectra at Low Cost with the Drift Scanning Method – I’ll be giving a presentation on the drift scanning method via Zoom during the AAVSO’s inaugural spectrography workshop, ASW2020.

What are these events like? 

Astronomy outreach events can take several different forms. One of the most popular types is the “starparty”: a nighttime event where astronomers set up their telescopes, and visitors are allowed to look through the telescopes while the astronomers talk about the visible targets and answer any questions about astronomy. Other types of astronomy events include classroom talks, lectures, webinars, and online livestreams that use cameras to show the view through a telescope. I do all of the above!

Below you will find a small sample of the in-person outreach events for which I’ve volunteered. These are posted as examples of what you might expect to see, hear, and do if you choose to attend an astronomy event in your area. I have taught at many more events than I’ve included here (both on my own as well as with a variety of astronomy organizations), but I just don’t have time to document them anymore.

Children’s Lighthouse

I must say that this was not the ideal situation or environment for an astronomy talk. The kids were great, but the people putting the event together didn't really know what they were asking for.At first, they said that they just wanted someone to talk with the kids, and hold a conversation about astronomy. Perfect! I didn’t particularly want to do a formal presentation in a daycare environment, but a conversation with kids [...]

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Texas Buddhist Association

We were invited to take some telescopes out to a camp held for Buddhist youth, quite a ways out of town compared to our usual outreaches. Objects shown included the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Cat’s Eye Nebula.Night Sky Network Log:Event Date: Saturday, 7/1/2017Name of Event/Service: BYC CampType of Service: Public Outreach# of Hours: 2Description of Service Performed: We arrived sometime before sunset and I set up my XT8. The kids came out around 8:45 and left sometime just before [...]

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Brentwood Baptist Church

In churches all across the country, an event called “Galactic Starveyors” was being put on by VBS. One participating church, Brentwood Baptist, reached out to HAS and asked if we could bring out some telescopes and give a talk about the stars. We wound up showing the full Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn (and a very red star).Night Sky Network Log:Event Date: Thursday, 6/8/2017Name of Event/Service: Brentwood Baptist Church VBS “Galactatic Starveyors”Type of Service: Public Outreach# of Hours: 1Description of Service Performed: We [...]

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Middlelands Music Festival

Well, I think Steve summed this one up best when we arrived and he greeted me with “Welcome to Woodstock!” A modern Woodstock, indeed. I didn’t mention this in the Night Sky Network log, but there’s definitely a reason the crowd was so easy to impress. I think that, except for the couple who hung around all night, most everyone there was “chemically influenced” in some way or another, which made their experience at the eyepiece (and [...]

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Shadydale Elementary

I brought my Z12 to this one, because I left directly from the outreach to have an extended stay at the HAS dark site! It was paradise. Night Sky Network Log:Event Date: Friday, 4/21/2017Name of Event/Service: Shadydale Lock-InType of Service: Public Outreach# of Hours: 2Description of Service Performed: I set up my Z12 in the parking lot of the school alongside 6 scopes brought by others. A combination of the severe light pollution, partial cloud cover, and being set up directly underneath [...]

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George Observatory

Event Date: Saturday, 4/15/2017Name of Event/Service: Public Observing Event – George ObservatoryType of Service: Public Outreach# of Hours: 2Description of Service Performed: We arrived around sunset, and I set my up my XT8 near the eastern stairs. There were some thick cirrus clouds over the western portion of the sky that came and went throughout the night. Ten or so minutes after setting up and pointing at Jupiter, the first people started to come by, and it became fairly busy after [...]

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St Francis Episcopal School

It took a bit longer than we had hoped to get to this outreach, as initially we went to the wrong campus… Oops! Fortunately we realized our mistake and arrived at the correct campus with enough time to set up, and it was a fun night. There was one quiet kid who I didn’t mention in the Night Sky Network log, who I tried for a minute or two to help look through the eyepiece, but he [...]

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Cross Creek Ranch

This was my first outreach with the Houston Astronomical Society, and little could I know at the time just how much it would change my life! Here I am just over two months later, and I’ve already found incredible friends and mentors among the club. Good people, who take me seriously and treat me well, and it all started here, with meeting Ed, Steve, and Amelia. Before this point, while I had done plenty of outreach and [...]

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