Minutes of the Executive Committee - 6 June 2011

07 Jun 2011 9:06 AM | Anonymous member

The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. Additionally present were; Tim Brown, Vice President; Dawn Davies, Outreach Chair; Jim Linn, Member Services Chair; Lauren Rogers, Secretary; Vic Ellisor, Member at Large; Jack Estes, ALCOR representative; Ron Carman, COE liaison; Apollo Davies. A quorum was present.

Nametags: All officers should have a name tag. Dawn reports name tags for other members have been picked up and used about 50 percent of the time. Lauren will make new name tags for the officers and have others available for those who are interested. Card stock with a color will be used for officers so they stand out. We might at some point consider more permanent name tags for officers, and maybe a PDF could be put online for people to print their own name tags at some point.

Jack Estes: Treasurer responsibilities have been turned over to Mark Lyon, including signatory for the bank documents. Dawn is still a signatory as well. 

Dawn Davies - Outreach: Upcoming events – AUTS in July, she will be contacting Torvald to make sure the Planetarium will be present. Astronomical League and similar websites publicize events; October 1 is Astronomy Day, and we should get something on the calendar. World Space Week is the following week, and Observe the Moon night is September 8th. It would be nice to get some additional urban events going. Jack stated the ALCOR representative should disseminate information regarding those types of events. Dawn would like to do a little more coordination with outreach events to get people committed to participating; it would be nice to have several point-people in different areas of the city to coordinate events and a database of people interested in participating in outreach events. She would also like to create a PDF regarding viewing locations, sunset times, sprinkler systems, etc. to select good times and places for star parties. Something for the web team; posting events on the website could be clearer: delineating EC and GA meetings (including locations for the EC meetings since all are invited to attend), outreach events, etc. We still need a newsletter editor.

Upcoming outreach events: Wild Basin event on Father’s Day – June 17, Lockhart State Park (October or November, not a Saturday), Inks Lake State Park (maybe Aug 27)

Joyce Lynch - President: There are several things we want to consider. Merchandise – we still want to create some items. COE light fence – black canvas on a frame to block out lights from the parking area, temporary or permanent (LCRA rules, cost, put up/take down). We could also consider additional signage, better enforcement of rules for public nights, and education on light pollution. Perhaps the Night Sky Network would have some suggestions. We need to be working more closely with Austin Planetarium, possibly becoming a corporate sponsor (which would need to go into the budget).

Jack would like to get together another double star observing club list. There is some cost to the club for certificates and pins, so it would need to be voted on in the budget. Jack will contact the AL to find out if someone else is already working on that. Mark Johnson could come up with the list of 100 objects, then we would need a committee to check them, and so it would be about a year to get it going. It might help getting people in the AAS to get started on the observing clubs. We need to encourage people to work on the AL awards and get out the information that approval for awards should go through the President, VP or ALCOR rep.

Minutes from the May 2 EC meeting were read by Dawn Davies. Jim Linn moved to accept minutes; Vic Ellisor seconded. Minutes were approved as read.

Jack Estes was appointed the ALCOR representative. The ALCOR representative is a member of the EC. Jim Chandler will continue as Parliamentarian, and Brian Cuthbertson will continue as historian. International Dark Sky appointment has been vacant for some time; Joyce will look into getting someone to take that position. Tim said he would be willing to do that if no one else volunteers. Joyce will continue as the Night Sky Network representative. 

Tim Brown - VP: The next GA meeting presentation will be a webinar with Tom Field regarding spectroscopy, software, and instrumentation. Jack suggested an IDA representative for an upcoming presentation. July’s meeting is someone from JPL. Tim is also talking to someone from McDonald Observatory about presenting. There may be additional AAS members that may be interested in presenting on observing, like Valerie Clark and other teachers especially. Don Olson from Texas State would like to present again. Mike Brown How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming) charges $1500; maybe we could look at partnering with the UT astronomy department, the Planetarium, or another group to share charges.

Jim Linn – Member services: We had a nice dam star party last Friday. We might consider a trip out to Pedernales; they will let us use their observing field. They should have pretty dark skies. Jim Spigelmire could put the old observing lists on the website for people to continue working on them.

Joyce: Yahoo EC mailing list is being updated to remove former EC members from the group, though they may stay if they like. Thoughts on the website from Jim Spigelmire: we need to have someone to oversee the website to make sure people are getting their things posted. This would mainly be Jim S. and Jim C. He would like to electronically archive the Sidereal Times, President’s message, etc. as the newsletter. There are some things we should look at as far as general site organization and appearance, online payments, photos, etc. Communications chair could help also with publication of events.

Ron: COE is having a park partners meeting on Wednesday the 15th; they would like to have the observatory open as much as possible, and they are considering upping the stipend to $75. Ron will also ask them about new insulation for the building. Jim L. moves that we change the combination on the gate and the observatory; Dawn seconds. Motion carries. The gate combination will be changed in September, and members will get the new combinations upon membership renewal. Darron will take care of changing the combinations.

Agenda for June 10 meeting: Dawn would like to request for Planetarium volunteers. Ron will present a $100 gratuity from the Denton day-trippers for running the observatory. Jack will be announced as the new ALCOR representative.

EC Meeting in July (scheduled for the 4) will not occur. September meeting (scheduled for Labor day) will tentatively not occur. We will work on the budget in August and have BBQ at Joyce’s. Tentatively scheduled August 6 (AUTS back-up date) or 7. 

Adjourned at 8:43 p.m.

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