Observing Program Questionnaire Coming December 16th — We Want to Hear From You!

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It’s been over 13 years since the RCA Board officially surveyed the membership about its astronomical observing needs. Quite a bit has changed since the last survey, including the size and composition of our membership, the type and number of our available observing sites, the rise in light pollution (particularly from LED lights), the popularity of astrophotography, and the increase in traffic congestion in the metro area. So, it’s time that the Board hear from the membership again. Starting December 16th and running for a month or two, there will be a new questionnaire available online and in hard copy at general meetings. Both formats will be on-hand at the Holiday Potluck on December 18th to make it easier for you to contribute to this important survey campaign.

Moving Forward With the Observing Site Fund

Based on the results of the last survey, the Board established an Observation Site Fund. Through individual donations, mini fundraisers, and an automatic transfer of $3 from every membership fee, the fund now contains a little over $29,000. The results of the new survey will help the Observing Site Committee (OSC) and the Board determine the current goals and objectives of our Observing Program from which they can then craft alternative options for using the fund most effectively. The new OSC will build on the work performed by a prior committee to establish a suite of measurable site evaluation criteria to be applied to site alternatives. The Board’s role is to serve the membership, so it’s important that we hear from you during each juncture of the process when we solicit input from the membership. If you have any questions, contact the Observing Site Committee Chair, Dawn Nilson at ida@rosecityastronomers.org or the RCA President, Margaret McCrea at president@rosecityastronomers.org.

We hope to hear from you! Clear skies!