President’s letter

Original article appears in GuideStar August, 2016.

by Rene Gedaly

We want YOU on the 2017 Membership team!
Want to meet more of your fellow members? Be one of the next smiling faces at the membership table for 2017! We'd like to get a group of three or four together who can take turns greeting folks at the badge table. Contact Ed Fraini at [email protected] for more.

We won! Horkheimer/O'Meara Journalism Award
HAS student member Clay Parenti won the Astronomical League's Horkheimer/O'Meara Journalism Award with his essay on “Finding the Cosmic Order: The Story of Kepler’s Laws of Motion.” His award will be announced in the September Reflector. Congrats, Clay!

Establishing youth group membership
Youth and school groups continue to find us on the web and we welcome them as the potential new members they are. It's a big enough uptick in requests, though, that it's time investigate creating a new membership category. Education & Outreach Co-chairs Joe Khalaf and Debbie Moran are on it.

Sharing Science with Any Audience
In the same vein, it may be time to develop mutually beneficial relationships with other groups in the community. The leadership team has identified a short list of community, policy, and media groups for me to target at the Sharing Science with Any Audience workshop at Texas A&M this month.

Slooh.com on AstronomyHouston.org
A few months ago the board approved posting educational and promotional videos on the main page of our website. You know about our terrific recorded presentations on the members-only section of the website. With any luck, we'll have educational shorts geared to the public on our main web page, too. 

In the meantime, Slooh.com, a popular robotic telescope service, features live astronomical events hosted by astronomers and other personalities worldwide. Slooh.com has given us permission to embed their events on AstronomyHouston.org. Take a look.

We have a new Vision statement
Who says committees can't write? Our previous vision statement, while inclusive, was quite the tongue twister. Here's Michael Rapp’s re-write (which the board wisely adopted):

Fostering the science and art of astronomy through programs that serve our membership and the community

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