Finding astronomy volunteers: Solar System Ambassadors Program, Night Sky Network, and Astronomy Ambassadors

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    Night Sky Network
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    AAS Astronomy Ambassadors logo

Volunteer experts are a key ingredient to many successful public engagement efforts. Volunteer networks focused on astronomy and space include: 1) Solar System Ambassadors Program, 2) Night Sky Network of astronomy clubs, and 3) AAS Astronomy Ambassadors 1) The Solar System Ambassadors Program (SSA) is a public outreach program designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers communicate the excitement of JPL's space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to people in their local communities. For 2016, there are 700 Ambassadors in 50 states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Guam bringing the excitement of space to the public. Ambassadors are space enthusiasts from various walks of life who are interested in providing greater service and inspiration to the community at large. 2) The Night Sky Network is a nationwide coalition of amateur astronomy clubs bringing the science, technology, and inspiration of NASA's missions to the general public. We share our time and telescopes to provide you with unique astronomy experiences at science museums, observatories, classrooms, and under the real night sky. 3) AAS Astronomy Ambassadors: The American Astronomical Society (AAS), in partnership with the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), members of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE), and other organizations active in science education and public outreach (EPO), has launched a series of professional-development workshops and a community of practice designed to help improve early-career astronomers' ability to effectively communicate with students and the public. Called Astronomy Ambassadors, the program provides mentoring and training experiences for young astronomers, from advanced undergraduates to new faculty; it also provides access to resources and a network of contacts within the astronomy EPO community.


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• The Solar System Ambassadors Program is sponsored by the JET PROPULSION LABORATORY in Pasadena, CA, an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a lead research and development center for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). • The Night Sky Network is sponsored and supported by the NASA/JPL Exoplanet Exploration public engagement program, publicly known as PlanetQuest. The Exoplanet Exploration Program encompasses several of the NASA extra-solar planet-finding missions, including the Keck Interferometer, the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI), Kepler, and the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. Various other missions and projects have provided support. • The AAS Astronomy Ambassadors Program is sponsored by the The American Astronomical Society (AAS).

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