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Astronomical Society of the Pacific to Present 2009 Annual Meeting, "Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future"


July 21, 2009

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) will present its 2009 annual meeting September 12-16 in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel, 1 Old Bayshore Highway in Millbrae, California. The theme of the 2009 gathering will be "Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future." Of particular interest to formal and informal educators, and amateur astronomers, the conference will consider how to advance a future of science literacy, enlightenment and achievement through speaker presentations, workshops, discussion sessions, and exhibits. This meeting, during the International Year of Astronomy, the International Year of Science, and the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, is open to all individuals with an interest in astronomy and science education.

The meeting proper begins on Sunday evening, September 13, with the annual members' meeting and the opening reception. Meeting sessions begin on Monday, September 14, with the annual awards banquet held on Tuesday evening, September 15. The meeting will conclude the early evening of Wednesday, September 16. Registration information can be found on the ASP website at:

The meeting will be preceded by hands-on workshops scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, for formal and informal educators, with a separate daily workshop registration fee from the meeting registration fee. Workshop registration and additional information can be found on the ASP website at:

Through support from the Spitzer Space Center, a limited number of scholarships of up to $750 are available to eligible participants. Additional details can be found on the scholarships page at:

In addition to workshops, the Astronomical Association of Northern California will meet on Saturday, September 12. The workshops and registration information pages provide additional information on this "meeting within a meeting."

Sunday afternoon, September 13, is reserved for a SETI Speaker Series featuring scientists and researchers from the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. Speakers include Drs. Frank Drake, Seth Shostak, Margaret Race, and John Jenkins. These presentations will feature current and mind-expanding discussions on the Drake Equation at 50 years old, what aliens might look like and why it's useful to speculate about them, initial results and data from the Kepler Mission to see if we're finding their home worlds yet, and what on Earth we do if we start to find them. The speakers series will be open to the public for a $10 admission fee per person to support the education programs of the SETI Institute and the ASP.

Founded in 1889 in San Francisco, the ASP's mission is to increase the understanding and appreciation of astronomy by engaging scientists, educators, enthusiasts and the public to advance science and science literacy. Information regarding the ASP can be found online at Specific information on the Society's array of awards for scientists, educators and amateur astronomers is located online at:


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