Letter from the President - June 2020

Original article appears in GuideStar June, 2020.

Family Observing.jpgAs we approach the halfway point in what’s been a year unlike any I’ve experienced in my lifetime, I’m reminded that, despite all of the changes around us, we’re still doing the best we can with the hands we’re all dealt.  We keep hearing things like “this is the new normal” or “things won’t be back to the way they were for a long time,” which is all true. But human beings are nothing if not resilient, and we tend to take comfort in our routines to compensate for all of the changes we’ve faced for months now.

I mention that to commend all of the people in leadership positions within the Houston Astronomical Society.  Many of them could have essentially shut down and stopped doing what they’ve been doing, but to a person, they’ve all continued with their roles at the Houston Astronomical Society – and have done so admirably.  I’m sure I speak for all of our committee chairs, directors, and volunteers when I say that our club will continue to evolve and adapt to provide our members and our community with an outlet of normalcy in these times.

But, we are all volunteers, and in order to continue providing the services we do, we rely exclusively on the generosity of our members to support the various groups and committees that make H.A.S. tick. And, as I mentioned above, our work hasn’t stopped with the “new normal.”

It takes a lot to keep the club going, and we are always looking for other members to help out with their talents.  Are you good at video editing?  Join the Audio/Visual Committee and help us get out meetings recorded and published to the website.  Do you enjoy interacting with people and welcoming new members? Join the Membership Committee and help us engage with all of our members.  Spend a lot of time at the dark site?  Join the Observatory Committee and help us keep our dark site in top-notch shape.  Good with social media?  Join our Publicity Committee.  I could go on and on, but you get the gist.  There are plenty of places where we could use your help, plus it’s a great way to groom the future leaders of the Houston Astronomical Society.

So, if you’re looking for something to do while we get through this period of time, please consider joining one of our committees.   I’ve listed them below for you to see, and where a vacancy currently exists, I've marked it with an asterisk.  If you have any questions, I’d be glad to answer any of them for you.  Just email me at [email protected] with any inquiries you may have.  Take care, and I hope to see you all soon.

Clear Skies,

Joe Khalaf

President, Houston Astronomical Society

Standing Committees

Non-Elected Committees

Audit Committee

AL Coordinator

Education & Outreach Committee

* Astrophotography SIG

Field Trip & Observing Committee

* Audio/Visual

Membership Committee


Novice Committee

IDA Representative

Observatory Committee

* Kids SIG

Program Committee

Texas 45 Coordinator

Publicity Committee

Texas 45 Astrophotography

Telescope Committee

*Urban Observing


* Videography


Visual SIG


Web Technology


Welcome Table


Women’s SIG

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