New Directions for AOAS
Thursday, December 25 2008 @ 02:00 am EST
Contributed by: bobmoody
At the 23rd annual traditional dinner/meeting of AOAS held on December 5, 2009, elections were held to select a new club president. After 6 consecutive years as President and another year as VP immediately before that, I stepped down as AOAS president in order to concentrate on running Coleman Observatory and starting some serious observing programs. We have some new equipment to utilize in several different configurations on our Celestron CGE mount, swapping between the original 14" Schmidt-Cassegrain tube assembly and up to 5 or 6 other optical tube assemblies, and even a capability for using tandem, or side-by-side telescope tubes for doing visual observing two-at-a-time, or more commonly for using one as a dedicated guide scope and the other for imaging the universe. These capabilities will give us new and exciting ways to utilize Coleman Observatory.
|"Six in a row is enough! Would somebody else like my job?"|
And so, at the Christmas dinner/meeting, our webmaster, David Grosvold, volunteered to be your new President of AOAS. When there are no members actively seeking election to the position, a member can volunteer to be appointed to an elected position upon approval of a quorum of the Executive Committee. A quorum was present and the appointment was made. Our own Director of Education, Dr. Chuck Larson, was also appointed to the voluntary position of Vice-President of AOAS. Between the two of these exceptional choices for the top two jobs in the club, we have a lot of new ideas beginning to come about for our goals and direction in 2009.
Dave Grosvold literally hit the ground running. At the dinner/meeting, he accepted the responsibilities and challenges of being AOAS President with open arms. He outlined many new ideas for what he thought we should do and where we should grow for this next year.
Basically, we're turning inwards once again. "We want to do things as a club, as a bunch of friends again", Dave says. "We want to scale-back on the number of public outreach efforts we'll do for 2009, but not neglect our traditional role as an active outreach club." We have at least five nights scheduled for public observing at the Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Center for 2009, which are set for February 13, June 12, August 14, September 11 and November 13. These will each be nights during the dark of the moon, but we will also hold our Astronomy Day 2009 on Saturday, October 24, one night before 1st Qtr moon when the low angle of light across the lunar surface reveals depth to the craters and heights of mountain peaks. This is the time when the moon looks best to me, and the public always marvels at that as well.
|On May 11, 1998, Dr Chuck Larson (right) presented Dave Grosvold with the Phi Delta Kappa International Certificate of Recognition to AOAS for Distinguished Service by a Group Outside Education for having been in contact with at least 60,000 area people up to that date. Now almost 11 years later, these are your President and Vice-President of AOAS for 2009.|
So, we enter a new year with a new captain at the helm.....I FINALLY conned someone else into taking over as President! I say conned, but David Grosvold has been here before. He served as head of AOAS for a year back in the early '90's so he knows a little about what's coming and what's expected. But this time, things are a little different. This time, he'll be helping guide us through another moving of Coleman Observatory. We must abandon the property up here 8 miles NW of Van Buren and look for a new home by the end of January, and we're actively looking for a new location. I'll try to give you all the details of this situation in another story about Coleman Observatory, our first move from the top of Midland Peak near Sugar Loaf Lake south of Ft Smith to our present location, and the reasons we're looking for a new home once again. WE NEED YOUR HELP! We will need the help of our members with the move itself since we'll be clearing off the property as we move, and we're in dire need of a new and appropriate place to go before we start the process of recovery and re-establishment of a new site. As soon as we can, we must locate the right place. That's the key...we MUST find the best place we can find, and rebuild everything with the idea that this is the LAST time we'll ever move Coleman Observatory again. We must find ourselves a permanent place to move where we'll be able to stay forever more. We've been together for 24 years as of January 15, 2009, and we're a well established organization in this area with somewhere over 100,000 people that we've come into direct contact with in those 24 years of public outreach. We want to be able to find a location where we will STILL BE in 24 more years from now. By then an entirely new club will exist, hopefully carrying on what we've invested so much time to establish, and furthering the numbers of people we've helped to experience even a small piece of the universe that we are a part of, carrying us past the mark of 1,000,000 people reached, and beyond! We really are headed in a new direction.