Applications Accepted for 2022 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program

ACEAP Ambassadors. Ambassadors visit the Atacama Desert following a successful visit to the ALMA high-site at 16,500 ft. Photo by Tim Spuck (AUI/NSF).

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP). Visit – http://astroambassadors.com/ 

This program, in its 7th year, brings amateur astronomers, planetarium personnel, and astronomy formal and informal educators to U.S.-funded astronomy observatories in Chile. While there, ambassadors receive behind-the-scenes tours of some of the world’s most productive and advanced telescopes, including in-depth information on their instruments and discoveries. Prior to the ACEAP Expedition, participants engage in professional development activities designed to improve STEM communication and education. The aim of ACEAP is to share the wonders of astronomy with students, the general public and space enthusiasts while building awareness of the amazing resources, facilities, and data in Chile, that can be accessed from anywhere. ACEAP ambassadors play a key role in achieving these goals.

Ten ambassadors will be selected for the Expedition with specific travel dates TBD. This nine-day expedition (not including travel time between the U.S. and Chile) will include stops at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Gemini South telescope, Vera C. Rubin Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). In addition to the professional facilities, ACEAP ambassadors will visit smaller amateur/public observatories. Weather permitting, nighttime observing opportunities will be made available.

 This unique professional development experience has become known for:

  • Providing unique access to facilities and people, and the astronomy ecosystem,
  • Bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and skills from both formal and informal education communities,
  • Investing in the Ambassadors: activities don’t stop at the end of the expedition or year of involvement,
  • Creating a network that continues to branch out and engage in innovative activities,
  • Providing a creative space for participants to interact.

Anyone, including international participants, may apply for five positions that are fully supported by their institution and/or personal funding. The remaining slots are restricted to U.S. citizens and permanent residents or Chilean residents who are amateur astronomers, K through college formal and informal educators who teach astronomy as part of their curriculum or program, planetarium educators, or those working in the area of astronomy communications.

To learn more about the program and to apply, go to: 
http://astroambassadors.com/

You can also visit us on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/AstronomyAmbassadorsProgram/ 

The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. (applicant’s local time), 31 May 2022.

Contact: Yasmin Catricheo at [email protected] or Tim Spuck at [email protected]

ACEAP is a collaborative project of Associated Universities, Inc., the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), and NSF’s NOIRLab including Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Gemini Observatory, and Vera C. Rubin Observatory. ACEAP was initially funded in 2015 as a two-year pilot program by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Due to its success, a combination of institution, personal, and NSF funding have allowed the program to continue.

 

 

 

NRAO Director Tony Beasley Appointed to New Five-Year Term

 

Dr. Tony Beasley, Director of the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), has been appointed to a new five-year term. The Board of Trustees for AUI— which operates NRAO under a cooperative agreement— and the NRAO Director Review Committee conducted a thorough review of Beasley’s leadership and performance earlier this year, and have appointed the Director to the new term through May 2027.

 

“Tony is an outstanding leader and stalwart champion for NRAO, the field of radio astronomy, the beauty of science, and the critical role of big facilities in the R&D ecosystem,” said Adam Cohen, President and CEO of AUI, which operates NRAO under a cooperative agreement. “He continues to support very innovative education and outreach programs to help build the workforce of the future, as well as programs and activities to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.” 

 

Over the course of more than two decades, Beasley’s leadership has shaped the present and future of NRAO’s leading-edge radio astronomy facilities, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and Very Large Array (VLA). More recently, he has collaborated on efforts to encourage cooperation between commercial spectrum users and research facilities and has created partnerships to explore the use of Green Bank Observatory’s radar systems in planetary science and defense applications. 

 

Beasley recently has generated significant support for the future of NRAO’s facilities, reaching major milestones in 2021. The observatory’s proposed next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) received high priority for new ground-based observatories in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2020). Late last year, NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory (CDL) received approval and funding through the ambitious ALMA2030 Development Plan to upgrade its Band 6 receivers, which are ALMA’s most productive receivers. 

 

An ardent supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion in astronomy and astrophysics, Beasley has elevated the efforts of NRAO’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Broader Impacts, and community development initiatives, including the National Astronomy Consortium (NAC), RADIAL, National and International Non-traditional Exchange (NINE), Research Experiences for Undergraduate students (REU), and most recently, grants for women in engineering fellowships and the development of a next generation Learning Center (ngLC). 

 

“Being a part of NRAO for more than 20 years has given me the opportunity to observe, contribute to, and lead growth and change in astronomy that positively impacts our facilities and allows us to collaborate with other like-minded institutions,” said Beasley. “I am proud of the work our teams have accomplished in research, engineering, outreach, and equity, and look forward to serving the NRAO community for another five years.”

 

Beasley, who holds a Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Sydney, was first appointed as NRAO Director in February 2012, after previously serving the observatory and the radio astronomy community in multiple capacities. He joined NRAO as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1991 and served as Deputy Assistant Director in 1997 and Assistant Director from 1998 to 2000. He briefly left NRAO that year to become Project Manager for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). In 2004, he returned to NRAO as Assistant Director, as well as Project Manager for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. From 2008 to 2012, Beasley served as the Chief Operating Officer and Project Manager of NSF’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). In addition to his role as NRAO Director, Beasley presently serves as the AUI Vice President for Radio Astronomy Operations. 

 

In January 2022, Beasley was honored as a Lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of radio astronomy. 

 

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