Oregon Space Grant Consortium
The Astronomer-in-Residence (AIR) program was implemented to address K-12, higher education and public requests for information/education surrounding the 2017 Solar Eclipse. The program has been maintained since the eclipse and AIRs continue to provide information for public awareness educational opportunities and events, and to field requests for astronomy-related inquiries.
Astronomer in Residence Program: Two individuals from within the consortium and one graduate student are designated to address requests for information and education related to astronomy. The AIR program was implemented prior to the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse to address the flood of requests for information regarding the Total Solar Eclipse. Post Eclipse, the AIRs continue to field student, faculty, and public requests for astronomy-related inquires.
One AIR is a former K-12 science teacher and a Solar System Ambassador for Jet Propulsion Laboratory; one is a physics/science/honors college instructor at OSU. One physics graduate student also serves as a student astronomer-in-residence. Collectively in FY2018, the Astronomers-in-Residence gave six public talks, reaching a combined total of 263 general public and students, one invited talk to the OSGC affiliate meeting (30 faculty/staff, 10 students) to highlight the new program, five hands-on activities reaching 184 individuals, an astronomy club open house to approximately 220 students/public combined, and 2 newspaper interviews. Talks included May the 4th Be With You, Power of Ten Space Travel, NASA Missions, Touring the Planets, and star parties. AIRs spoke to Rotary clubs, K-12 classrooms, community college groups, churches and astronomy clubs. Total program impacted approximately 812 people plus an undetermined reach for the newspaper interviews.