One of the most important and rewarding parts of being an astronomer is getting to share the forefront knowledge that we gain from our research. Like me, I've found that most people have an innate interest in learning about our Universe. But of course not everyone has access to world-class telescopes or supercomputers that astronomer use to carry out their research, and many of our detailed research papers can be quite hard to interpret without the proper background. That's why public outreach activities are so important. I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to lead and participate in a number of different activities aimed at bringing astronomy to the public, including star parties, lectures and discussions.
Currently, most of my outreach activities are associated with the Adler Planetarium's Space Visualization Lab (SVL). I regularly lead Astronomy Conversations with the museum visitors; you can find the schedule here. I also occasionally participate in the Chicago chapter of Astronomy on Tap. Check it out!
Below is a list of past notable activities. And when I have a particularly interesting event coming up, I will include it at the top of the list. So check back often!
|Oct. 21, 2014||Led a "Jr. Science Cafe" at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago with fellow astronomy Elizabeth Hicks as part of the outreach program from our winning entries in Northwestern's Scientific Image Contest.|
|2013 - present|| Leading Astronomy Conversations in the Space Visualization Lab (SVL) at the Adler Planetarium
(Find me on the current SVL Astronomy Conversations schedule from the "Astronomy Conversations and Open Lab schedule" link on this website.)
|2012 - present||Developing astronomy visualizations with Mark SubbaRao for the Adler Planetarium|
|2012||Worked with artist Marta Fernandez Calvo and ESA science writer Claudia Mignone to adapt our simulations of stellar dynamics into artistic installations with public participation (e.g., Cose Cosmiche)|
|July 31, 2012||Astronomy Night at Ravinia|
|Dec. 9, 2011||Public lecture at Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL sponsored by Chicago Astronomical Society|
|Nov. 16, 2011||Public "Science Cafe" lecture at the Firehouse Grill in Evanston, IL|
|Oct. 21, 2011||Interviewed on NPR's Science Friday about our 2011 Nature Letter|
|2008 - 2011||National and international press for our 2008, 2009, and 2011 Nature Letters|
|Nov. 10, 2009||Public lecture at the University of Wisconsin - Madison Space Place|
|2009||Co-creator of the UW International Year of Astronomy (IYA) website|
|2009||Aided in designing and presenting IYA From Earth to the Universe exhibit|
|Nov. 21, 2008||Co-hosted the PEOPLE "Party with the Stars" at the UW Space Place : astronomy presentation and telescope viewing led by UW minority undergraduates from the PEOPLE program|
|2007||Co-creator of Where in the Universe is Sally Ride's Space Suit?" an interactive online detective story developed for the UW "Expanding Your Horizons" program for encouraging middle-school girls' interests in science|
|2006 - 2009||Presentations at WIYN board and UW Astronomy Board of Visitors meetings : to aid in publicizing the astronomy research performed by graduate students at UW|
|2004 - 2009||Universe in the Park (UitP) : led summer public telescope viewings and lectures in Wisconsin state parks|
|2004 - 2009||Led Washburn Observatory public star parties|
Did you know that 2009 was the International Year of Astronomy (IYA)? 2009 was the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first astronomical observation. Check out the UW-Madison IYA website! This is one of the coolest astronomy sites you'll find!