Professional Astronomers and Their Students
People with Moon Balls (Credit: Astronomical Society of the Pacific)
A list of astronomy and physics departments at universities and colleges that offer astronomy degrees can be found at: https://aas.org/learn/college-departments-offering-astronomy-related-degrees. Reach out to professors to see if they or their graduate students are interested in partnering.
In addition, many smaller colleges (including community colleges) have someone on staff who teaches an introductory astronomy course. A list of all community colleges in the U.S. (by state) is at: http://www.aacc.nche.edu/pages/ccfinder.aspx. Wikipedia also has entries that list all the colleges and universities in the U.S. state by state.
Astronomers also work at dedicated research centers, such as observatories, science institutes, NASA centers, etc. Finding any of these near you may require a bit more research or asking people at a local college or amateur astronomy club. NASA facilities are shown at: https://www.nasa.gov/about/sites/index.html.
The American Astronomical Society runs an “Astronomy Ambassadors” program consisting of younger astronomers who are interested in reaching out to the public. A list of them can be found at: https://aas.org/outreach/roster-aas-astronomy-ambassadors.
Amateur Astronomers and NASA Volunteers
Astronomy hobbyists have organized astronomy clubs in communities throughout the country and there may be one near you.
To find a club, use the following tools:
NASA’s Night Sky Network consists of 400+ clubs that specifically dedicate some of their energy to public outreach: https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/club-map.cfm
Solar System Ambassadors are a special group of amateur astronomers and educators who are trained to work help with public events. You can find a national directory of these Ambassadors at: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/ssa/directory.cfm
NASA created a Solar Eclipse website that has many useful resources, such as:
The Astronomical League is an umbrella organization of many clubs around the country. Here is the list of their clubs organized by state: https://www.astroleague.org/al/general/society.html?order=state&sort=asc
Sky & Telescope magazine has a club finder on their website: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-clubs-organizations/
Astronomy magazine also has a finder and their list includes more types of organizations: http://www.astronomy.com/groups.aspx
Once you find a club in your area, look for their contact information or for the list of officers. Call or email them to see if anyone in the club is an eclipse enthusiast who wants to work with libraries and the public.
High School Science Teachers
If you have already established a relationship with your local school district, they may appreciate you bringing information and resources about the eclipse to their attention. A teacher of physics or earth science may be willing to help you with your eclipse programming. In addition, many science teachers belong to their state science teacher organization and to the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), which are actively informing and training their members in anticipation of the eclipse.
If you have not been able to find a science teacher to assist you through the local schools, your next step should be to approach your state science teacher organization. To find the officers and contacts for your state science teachers group, you can go to: http://www.nsta.org/about/collaboration/chapters.aspx#chapterlist
Interactive exhibits at the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco (Credit: Fred Hsu)
Science Museum or Nature Center Educator
A good list of science and technology museums can be found at the website of Association of Science/Technology Centers (ASTC). They have a finder tool to help you locate a science museum near you at: http://www.astc.org/about-astc/aboutscience-centers/find-a-science-center/.
A planetarium is a facility where the stars are projected on a dome and special shows about astronomical topics are featured. Some planetariums are part of a larger science museum or school district, but some are independent facilities. Below are some web-based tools for finding a planetarium near you:
We hope your library can find a partner in your community who can help you share the excitement, wonder, and science of the eclipse with the public. We encourage you to document your public eclipse events in words and images, and to share the best of them with us. Send your eclipse event reports to: Anne Holland at aholland@SpaceScience.org. (Please have signed image release forms on file for any people who appear in your images.)