Executive Committee Minutes

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  • 30 Mar 2014 11:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:11 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, treasurer Mark Lyon, secretary David Lynch, outreach chair Joyce Lynch, equipment chair Darin Koch, and members at large Mike Krzywonski and Terry Phillips.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    Vice President: Programs have been scheduled through August. March 14 will be Chris Sneden, UT Astronomy Department, on globular clusters. The April 11 meeting will be in Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Hall (ECJ) with a presentation by Jeff Silverman, UT Astronomy Department, on dark energy and the runaway universe. The May 9 meeting will be held at Pedernales Falls State Park with a public viewing in lieu of a presentation. June 13 will have Stephan Meschari from the UT Astronomy Department. July 11 will have a presentation by Darron Spohn. August 8 will have Rachel Livermore from the UT Astronomy Department on searching for the most distant and oldest galaxies.

    Treasurer: The auction of donated items raised $3,372. One lesson learned from this auction: Don't have so many items, because it makes it difficult to follow the action if bidders are attempting to track multiple auctions.

    Outreach: The McKinney Roughs event has been postponed. The March 8 sidewalk astronomy event at Jack and Adam's Bike Shop has been postponed to March 22. Colorado Bend State Park will be on March 10. Wild Basin will be on March 21. Public night will be on March 29. About 100 people came to the table at Explore UT on March 1.

    Equipment: Observatory trainings are upcoming. Observatory workday April 26 (Saturday of CTSP weekend.)

    Member Services: Erika Rix will be doing the Practical Astronomy session prior to the March meeting.

    COE Agreement: No word from CoE management.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:07.
  • 01 Mar 2014 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:03 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, treasurer Mark Lyon, secretary David Lynch, outreach chair Joyce Lynch, equipment chair Darin Koch, member services chair Jim Linn, and members at large Mike Krzywonski and Terry Phillips.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    VP: Programs have been scheduled for March and April. Due to finals, the May meeting cannot be at UT. Pedernales Falls State Park was suggested as an alternative.

    Treasurer: 12 copies of the RASC handbook were sold.

    Outreach: Upcoming events are 2/4 at Dessau Middle School and the public star party at Canyon of the Eagles on 2/22.

    Equipment: Some observing tables at Canyon of the Eagles will need to have their tops replaced. Posters have been inventoried, and some may be replaced.

    Member Services: Either Tim Brown (Lunar Geology) or Erika Rix (Sketching) will be doing the Practical Astronomy session in February.

    OLD BUSINESS

    Canyon of the Eagles agreement: No news

    Wild Basin: Wants to have an event in March. We will negotiate details.

    Late member Larry Forrest owned a 20-inch Dobsonian telescope which the society is considering the purchase of. EC agreed to ask his widow for a price so that the proposal can be brought to the GA if the price is acceptable.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Auction: The society is planning an auction of donated items.

    Nominating Committee: Two members have been confirmed. A third has been asked but has not confirmed whether they wish to serve.

    iPad Purchase: A club member is selling an iPad and has offered it to the society. The EC agreed to pursue the purchase for use in the Eagle Eye Observatory.

    Next EC Meeting: Monday 3/3 at 7:00 at a location TBA.

    The meeting was adjourned at 7:53 PM.
  • 31 Jan 2014 8:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The meeting was called to order at 7:11 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, secretary David Lynch, outreach chair Joyce Lynch,
    member services chair Jim Linn, and members at large Mike Krzywonski and Terry Phillips.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    Vice President: Upcoming presentations: The January meeting will be at RLM 4.102. Usual room in ETC is booked for February, March, and April. May meeting will have to be
    held in another location due to finals. January: Brian Lippincott on homemade Dobsonian mounts. February: Lauren Gonzalez on Astronomical League awards.

    Treasurer: Midphase (web hosting company for austinastro.org) has given us a $30 credit after failing to automatically bill AAS for web hosting. This makes the
    cost for the coming year approximately equal to the cost of GoDaddy, so we will not be changing hosting services for the current year, but may in the future.

    Outreach: We have received a request from a boating group that meets on Lake Travis which would like to do a star party; they proposed meeting on February 7 at
    Mansfield Dam, which is already a planned Dam Star Party. 1/21: Clayton Elementary, 1/23: Cub Scout pack at Cedar Creek Elementary (Eanes ISD), 1/25: Public
    Star Party at Canyon of the Eagles.

    Member Services: No January presentations. Plans for the spring: Lunar geology (Feb.), lunar sketching (March), astrophotography (April).

    OLD BUSINESS

    None

    NEW BUSINESS

    None

    Next EC Meeting: Monday 2/3 at 7:00 at a location TBA.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:22 PM.

  • 27 Dec 2013 5:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Executive Committee Minutes

    The meeting was called to order at 7:19 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, secretary David Lynch, communications chair Jim Spigelmire, outreach chair Joyce Lynch, member services chair Jim Linn, equipment chair Darin Koch, and member at large Terry Phillips.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    VP: Upcoming presentations: January: Brian Lippincott on homemade Dobsonian mounts. February: Lauren Gonzalez on Astronomical League awards.

    Communications: Meeting with consultants Wednesday 12/4 to look over AAS social media profiles and web site to create a unified web presence.

    Outreach: 12/7 – Public star party. 12/10 – Clayton Elementary School (Backup date 12/12.)

    Equipment: A Meade telescope has been donated to the club. An assessment of its condition is ongoing.

    Member Services: January Practical Astronomy will be Jim Linn on the Geology of the Moon. February or March will be on astrophotography.

    OLD BUSINESS

    COE Agreement: Representatives of the EC met with Calibre in November to revise the draft agreement.

    NEW BUSINESS

    None

    Next EC Meeting: Monday 1/6 at 7:00 at Dawn Davies’ House.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 PM.
  • 29 Nov 2013 9:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Executive Committee Minutes

    The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, secretary David Lynch, outreach chair Joyce Lynch, equipment chair Darin Koch, member services chair Jim Linn, communications chair Jim Spigelmire, member at large Mike Krzywonski.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    VP: November: Bill McDaniel, Pedernales Falls State Park. December: Christmas party. January: Brian Lippincott, AAS, homemade Dobsonian mounts. February: Lauren Gonzalez, Astronomical League Awards.

    No meeting location has been arranged for the December meeting/holiday party at this time.

    Communications: Work with the PR consultants continues. The first evaluation has been completed and a list of suggestions have been created. The next step includes interviews, creating a communications plan for them or AAS to implement. A proposal to create a budget item for communications in the amount of $900 will be brought to the GA at the next meeting.

    Outreach: 11/5: Block House Creek Elementary (likely to be rescheduled due to wet weather). 11/9: Cedar Park Center and Austin Country Club. Next public star party 11/23.

    After the cancellation of the October star party due to forecast cloudy weather which didn’t materialize, James Hall has offered to provide backup programming on nights if AAS does not hold a full star party.

    Work is ongoing at Reimers Ranch. Expected opening is Spring of 2014.

    Equipment: Mirrors on the Harlan Smith telescope need to be cleaned. Darin Koch is planning to get a push mower for minor grass cutting jobs.

    Member Services: 11/8 practical astronomy speaker will be Darron Spohn on the topic of finding your way around the night sky. Jim Linn and Tim Brown are working to find more practical astronomy speakers.

    OLD BUSINESS

    COE Agreement: Representatives from the Executive Committee will be meeting with Calibre later his month on a date to be determined.

    New Dark Sky Site: A list of proposed criteria was presented to the Executive Committee. The club may seek donations of land.

    NEW BUSINESS

    The Executive Committee proposed granting Steve Bosbach an honorary membership. A vote will be taken at the 11/8 GA meeting.

    Next EC Meeting: Monday 12/2 at 7:00 PM at a location TBD.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:29 PM.
  • 27 Oct 2013 8:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Executive Committee Minutes

    The meeting was called to order at 7:07 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, secretary David Lynch, treasurer Mark Lyon, outreach chair Joyce Lynch, equipment chair Darin Koch, member at large Mike Krzywonski, IDA representative Steve Bosbach, and member Darron Spohn.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    VP: October: Don Olson, Texas State University, “25 years of astronomy in art, history, and literature.” (Book Celestial Sleuth out in October.) November: Bill McDaniel, Pedernales Falls State Park. December: Christmas party. January: Brian Lippincott, AAS, homemade Dobsonian mounts. February: TBD.

    Wild Basin has been reserved for December, but is rearranging the current meeting room and there will be less space with the new arrangement.

    Treasurer: Current membership count: mid to high 300s.

    Outreach: Observe the moon night 10/12 7:00-10:00 pm at Central Market on North Lamar. Centex 10/26: Kids activities and solar viewing before the public star party. 10/26, Lockhart State Park. Future events for for-profit organizations will include a suggested donation for a nonspecific amount.

    Equipment: Ethernet cabling was installed between the satellite internet equipment in the shed at the Eagle Eye Observatory and the observatory building proper. Two ports are available.

    IDA: Steve is planning to move to Oregon this spring. Darin Spohn has volunteered to replace him.

    Member Services: Practical Astronomy for 9/13: Steve Bosbach on binoculars.

    OLD BUSINESS

    COE Agreement: Calibre has requested an update. A draft agreement will be presented to them and a meeting will be scheduled.

    Merchandise: We did not have a sufficient numbers of orders. Existing orders will be held until there is a sufficient number.

    NEW BUSINESS

    None

    Next EC Meeting: Monday 11/4 at 7:00 PM at Double Dave’s at 3000 Duval St.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:13 PM.
  • 24 Sep 2013 12:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Executive Committee Minutes

    The meeting was called to order at 7:43 PM. Present were president Dawn Davies, vice president Ron Carman, secretary David Lynch, treasurer Mark Lyon, communications chair Jim Spigelmire, outreach chair Joyce Lynch, member services chair Jim Linn, and members at large Mike Krzywonski and Terry Phillips.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    VP: September: Jack Petersen, Hill Country Astronomers, Comets. October: Don Olson, Texas State University, “25 years of astronomy in art, history, and literature.” (Book Celestial Sleuth out in October.) November: Bill McDaniel, Pedernales Falls State Park. December: Christmas party.

    Kim Van Camp seeking a program for Williamson County Astronomy Club now through December. Meetings are the first Thursday of each month in Round Rock.

    Wild Basin has been reserved for December, but is rearranging the current meeting room and there will be less space with the new arrangement.

    Treasurer: 191 members from last year still unpaid. Nearly 400 people counting those members.

    Communications: We have an offer from a consultant about changing our web site to better reach potential members. It is possible that a grant can be obtained to pay for the work; otherwise, we can pay directly for the work. Jim S will be meeting with her on Monday 9/16.

    Outreach: Wild Basin event on Thursday 9/5 had about six telescopes and 50 members of the public. Tuesday 9/10, there will be an event for Leander ISD at the Ceder Park Center. 9/27, Round Rock Parks & Recreation is asking for volunteers for a camp out. The public star party at COE is 9/28. 10/11 is Moon Night; the proposed event is lunar viewing from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge. Saturday night of CenTex (10/26) will have solar viewing and kids activities.

    Equipment: The telescope in the Ruof observatory is still having some issues with the goto function, but Darin is working on getting it fully functional. Satellite internet installation will be 9/12. Lock combinations at the main EEO gate and observatory will be changed around 11/15.

    Member Services: Practical Astronomy for 9/13: Steve Bosbach on binoculars.

    OLD BUSINESS

    Dark Sky Site Search: Selection criteria have been researched. We may reach out to other astronomy clubs about a partnership.

    COE Agreement: COE has requested an update. A draft agreement was presented to the EC.

    Merchandise: Only six forms have been received. The deadline is 9/15.

    Solar Scope: Members checking out the solar telescope are doing so with the intention that it will be brought to outreach events with solar viewing while they have it. Checkout procedures will be formalized.

    NEW BUSINESS

    None

    Next EC Meeting: Monday 10/7 at 7:00 at Double Dave’s at 3000 Duval St.

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 PM.
  • 21 Aug 2013 6:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The meeting was called to order at 8:12 p.m. by President Dawn Davies. Additionally present were: Ron Carman, VP; Mark Lyon, Treasurer; David Lynch, secretary; Mike Krzywonski and Terry Philips, members at large; Jim Linn, member services chair; Joyce Lynch, outreach chair; Darin Koch, equipment chair; Jim Spigelmire, communications chair; Lauren Gonzalez, ALCOR; Steve Bosbach, IDA representative; Cass Brown & Wilson Gonzalez, members.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    Vice President: Programs are set for August, September, and November. December meeting will be held at Wild Basin. He will check with UT about continuing to use their room for 2014.

    Secretary: No report.

    Treasurer: 56 renewals since August 1. 11 memberships were started on the web site but not completed, 10 are student memberships; Mark will contact those 10.

    Communications: No report.

    Outreach: Public star party 8/10 at CoE, 8:15-11:15. A new member offered to help with young astronomer activities for kids before the party.

    Equipment: Internet is still out at the observatory. We are looking to replace the existing oil-based lubrication on the declination collar on the Harlan Smith telescope with Teflon.

    Member services: Edward Plummer will be conducting practical astronomy on imaging on 8/9. Dam Astronomers meet first Friday of each month. Great skies but only about 12 scopes out at the members-only night on 8/3. New members have asked for additional information about the dam star parties; can we link to information about the star parties from the calendar? On members-only nights, some people are buying memberships for the purposes of coming out just for the night; we need to find a way for those new members to be aware of the rules and protocols of the observatory and members-only nights.

    IDA: IDA and Texas Parks & Wildlife have entered into an agreement to work together on lighting at state parks. Enchanted Rock and Lost Maples will be getting funding to meet IDA dark sky certifications.

    OLD BUSINESS

    COE Subcommittee: Draft agreement still incomplete; no hurry from Calibre.

    Internet at COE: Given COE’s problems, the treasurer will execute an agreement with Exede for satellite internet. Funding will be included in the budget presented at the 8/9 meeting.

    Merchandise: Forms will go on the web site and announcement will be made at the August GA meeting.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Jim Spigelmire moved to create a subcommittee (Jim Linn seconds) to find a dark sky site to serve as a site which is members-only at all times. The motion carried. The consesus of the EC is that public events will remain at CoE for public events for the forseeable future, but members-only star parties will move when/if the new land is purchased.

    Next EC Meeting: Darin and Dana Koch’s house, Monday 9/9 at 7:00 PM (moved from Monday 9/2 due to Labor Day).

  • 01 Jul 2013 10:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:09 p.m. by President Dawn Davies. Additionally present were: Ron Carman, VP; Mark Lyon, Treasurer; David Lynch, secretary; Mike Krzywonski and Vic Ellisor, members at large; Jim Linn, member services chair; Joyce Lynch, outreach chair; Darin Koch, equipment chair; Steve Bosbach, IDA representative.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    Vice president: David Henderson will be speaking at the GA meeting in August, Jack Peterson in September. If the December meeting is to be held at Wild Basin, it will require a payment for the use of the facility, unlike past meetings there; the EC decided to go ahead with holding the December meeting there.

    Treasurer: Astronomical League dues have been sent, additional money will be coming in with dues renewals in August and September. AAS has less than $30,000 on hand.

    Communications (via the president): Merchandise order form will be a printed PDF due to the number of variables (size, color, lettering). Prices have been set based on spreading startup costs over the minimum order amount; additional orders beyond this will result in net income for the society. The star party page will include a request form and things to consider before setting dates and locations. Recently, most star parties that have asked AAS assistance have had at least some members present, but some of them could use more assistance.

    Outreach: Upcoming events – Bee Cave Library 7/16/13, public star party 7/6/13. Observe the moon night (formerly Astronomy Day) 10/12/13. The 2014 dates for public and members-only star parties are on the calendar, with specific start and end times for public nights TBD.

    Equipment: The telescope in the Fred Ruoff observatory could use a new focuser, a dew shield, and an alternating current adapter. No fire ants were visible at COE on Friday (6/28/13). Other than the internet connection, which should be working on the resort's end by July 7, there were no issues.

    Member Services: No practical astronomy at the July meeting, but the committee is trying to find a presentation for August. Next scheduled dam star party is Friday 7/5/13, and additional dam star parties will be added to the calendar for the first Friday of each month.

    IDA: 21 volunteers for the project to check lighting at Texas state parks are already trained; 18 more should be trained by the end of the month. 26 parks out of 80 have been completed or are due to be done soon.

    OLD BUSINESS

    Canyon of the Eagles subcommittee: No report, no action taken.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Recognition for Frank Mikan planned for July meeting for his assistance in helping us coordinate AAS events with St. Stephen's School.

    Next GA meeting: July 12, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall at St. Stephen's School, followed by a tour of the observatory by Frank Mikan.

    Next EC meeting: Date/time and location TBD (barbecue.)
  • 24 Jun 2013 7:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:18 p.m. by Vice President Ron Carman. Additionally present were: Ron Carman, VP; David Lynch, secretary; Terry Philips, member-at-large; Jim Linn, member services chair; Jim Spigelmire, communications chair; Dawn Davies, outreach chair; Joyce Lynch, immediate past president; Darin Koch, equipment chair.

    Ron Carman announced that president Tim Brown announced that he was unable to serve as president.

    Jim Spiegelmire moved to approve Dawn Davies as president. Terry Philips seconded. The motion carried 7-0.

    Dawn Davies appointed Joyce Lynch as outreach chair. There was no objection.

    Minutes were approved as posted. (Motion by Joyce Lynch, second by Ron Carman)

    OFFICER REPORTS

    VP: June 14 meeting program will be Don Olson, talking about the skies of Claude Monet. July meeting will have to be held in a location other than ETC, due to final exams for the summer session; Frank Mikan has been contacted about using St. Stephen's and doing a tour of their observatory in lieu of a program. August will be David Henderson, September will be Jack Petersen discussing comets.

    (via Joyce Lynch) If future guests at ETC need internet access, Phil Schmidt has purchased 24-hour passes to the UT-Austin wireless network.

    Secretary: New nametags for the EC will be provided at the June 14 meeting.

    Communications: Send e-mail and/or phone numbers for an updated contact list.

    Member Services: No practical astronomy session scheduled for the June 14 meeting, as there will be a collimation workshop at AUTS. A members' weekend at Pedernales Falls in the fall may be planned.

    Outreach: June 15: Austin Under the Stars; other events have been posted to the e-mail list.

    Equipment: $56 was collected from the CoE donation box on May 17. Three containers of “fire ant shredder” have been purchased for use on the observatory field. As of 6/1, there was no water at the observatory; CoE management was aware of the problem. The tiedown pins on the Fred Ruoff Observatory have been bent by the force of the wind. Observatory traning will be held on 6/8.

    Canyon of the Eagles subcommittee: The subcommittee met to discuss a new agreement with Calibre (contract operators for Canyon of the Eagles Resort) for the use of the Eagle Eye Observatory, due to the discontinuation of the previous contract with the LCRA. A draft of a memorandum of understanding between AAS and Calibre will be presented to them within the month, and we will plan a meeting with Calibre. We have requested guidelines from the LCRA about what rules apply in the preserve in which the EEO is located.

    OLD BUSINESS

    Dawn Davies continues to work on merchandise.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Jim Linn: Can we consider another location? This location is noisy. Dawn will ask Double Dave's if it would be possible to meet there next month.

    Next meeting: Monday July 1 at 7:00pm. Location TBD.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:36 p.m.
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