From the President...

President's Perspective for April, 2011

Greetings, fellow stargazers! (Oops, not my line!)

Last month, it so happened that the ASN's president, Chris Johnson, had to step down for reasons having nothing to do with the ASN. So, having never really thought about this when accepting the job of Vice President, I now suddenly find myself being President of the ASN.

Surprise? Definitely? A bad thing? Not at all! (I hope!)

As your new President, I hope to help the ASN continue doing what it does best-- promote astronomy in a variety of public and private settings. But besides keeping up our strong public outreach, I am hoping we can engage in activities designed to help our members develop their skills. And although the ASN has at the moment, a healthy bank account, I would like to see us continue to work at fundraising so we can invest in things we should be investing in (and this is both hardware and events) and at the same time keep our 'pocketbook fat'.

One important area I hope to work on is more opportunities for member-only star parties. A few years back, we tried a fairly ambitious expansion of viewing opportunities for those who work odd schedules. This worked-- for a while. What we might do, is go back to and revisit some of these ideas on a more limited basis.

I would like to see some of our meetings be a bit more hands-on, such as demonstrations of topics both basic and advanced, instead of just a 'powerpoint show'.

There are other astronomy groups and activities going on in our area. I would like to see the ASN be more involved in these activities (where appropriate), and develop 'bridges' between the various astronomy groups in our area. This includes some of the larger multi-day star parties (like the one in Tonopah, for instance) that occur in this part of the country.

I would also like to see us make sure our relationship with the Planetarium stays strong. We have benefited in many ways from this relationship, and we need to ensure that the ASN's involvement in the Planetarium is valuable to them as well.

However, the most important change (or non-change as it may be) is that the leadership of the ASN needs to listen carefully to what its members want or need. Moving the board/program meetings to after the monthly member meeting has greatly increased participation. These meetings are open to all members, and your input is valuable. So if you have never done so before, consider attending some board or program meetings. You will be glad you did!

I am going to be 'scarce' in April, as I travel extensively for work this month. But after that, I hope to jump into my new role in the ASN and see what I can do to make this the very best astronomy club in the local group!

Category: President