A Free Workshop for Early-Career Astronomers Who Want to Do Better Outreach with Students & the Public

Andrew Fraknoi recently retired as Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College, served at Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for 14 years, and is the Moderator of the Ambassadors Workshops

Friday and Saturday, January 3-4, 2020, in conjunction with the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu, HI.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is sponsoring a free skill-building workshop — and an ongoing community of practice — to support early-career astronomers in providing effective outreach to schools, families, and the public. Working with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Portal to the Public Project, and other outreach organizations, the AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program (now in its eighth 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.

If you are a graduate student, postdoc, recent faculty, or recent research scientist, and 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 (more than 200 members).

The AAS Astronomy Ambassadors workshop will be held on the Friday and Saturday before the start of the winter AAS meeting in Honolulu, HI. Participants will spend two active days learning 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 just beginners. No experience is required. We especially want to encourage participation by members of groups underrepresented in science.

Workshop costs are being underwritten by the AAS and a grant from the National Science Foundation, 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 AAS membership fees are available to students and educators.)

Applications are being accepted now and must be submitted no later than November 19, 2019. 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!

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