General Assembly Minutes

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  • 30 Mar 2014 11:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE AUSTIN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY - 14 MARCH 2014

    The meeting was caled to order at 7:41. A quorum was present.

    The minutes for the February 14, 2014 meeting were approved as published in the Sidereal Times.

    Constellation of the month: Leo, presented by Terry Phillips.

    OFFICER AND CHAIR REPORTS

    Vice President: Programs through August are set. The April 11 meeting will be in Ernest Cockerel, Jr. Hall, on the south side of Dean Keeton. The May 9 meeting wil be at Pedernales Falls State Park; entrance fees will be waived and bring a picnic supper and a telescope for public viewing after the meeting.

    Treasurer: Some auction items are still available for pickup.

    Outreach: March 21: Wild Basin, 7:30-9:00. March 22: Alt/Az Stargaze at Jack and Adam's Bike Shop, 1210 Barton Springs Rd, 7:00-9:00. March 29: Monthly Star Party at Canyon of the Eagles, 7:30-11:00.

    Equipment: Several tabletops will need to be replaced at Canyon of the Eagles. The weather station on the observatory shed is being replaced. Cameras are being considered for the observatory, but will not be internet-accessible due to bandwidth concerns.

    Member Services: Central Texas Star Party will be April 25-26 at Canyon of the Eagles. There will be a potluck supper on Friday night; Saturday night dinner will be available from the club for $5/person (bring your own beverages.)

    UNFINISHED BUSINESS

    Nominating Committee Update: Elections are April 11. There has been at least one nomination for all positions.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Erika Rix is looking to be replaced as newsletter editor. Coktact her if you are interested in being editor.

    PROGRAM

    Dr. Chris Snedden from the Astronomy Department of the University of Texas at Austin, "The Extraordinary Lives of Globular Star Clusters."

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:30.
  • 01 Mar 2014 6:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:43 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in the Engineering Teaching Center at the University of Texas at AUstin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes from the January 10 meeting were approved as posted to the web site and published in the Sidereal Times.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Vice president: Upcoming presentations – March: globular clusters, April: dark energy, June: searching for the oldest and most distant galaxies. The May 9 meeting will be at Pedernales Falls State Park. Park entrance fees will be waived; bring a picnic supper and telescopes for public viewing after the meeting.
    - Treasurer: We have plenty of money but could use more.
    - Outreach: Upcoming events – 2/22: Monthly public star party at Canyon of the Eagles, 2/27: McKinney Roughs. The March 7 Star Party will include members of a sailing club.
    - Equipment: There will be a workday on the observatory field tables on the Saturday of the Central Texas Star Party.
    - Member Services: Messier Marathon will be held Saturday March 1, with a backup date of March 29.

    Old business:
    - Tara Heine, Erika Rix, and David Ault were appointed to the nominating committee.
    - The club is continuing to take orders for merchandise and will place an order as soon as enough orders have been received.

    New business:
    - An auction of items which have been donated to the society will be held from 2/16 to 2/28, conducted via the discussion board section of the web site.

    Astronomical League Award Presentations:
    - Outreach Stellar Level - Erika Rix
    - Binocular Double Star - Lauren Gonzalez

    Presentation: Lauren Gonzalez – Astronomical League Awards

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.
  • 31 Jan 2014 8:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in Robert L Moore Hall at the University of Texas at AUstin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes from the November 8 meeting were amended from the version published in the Sidereal Times to revise the presentation to read "Bill McDaniel -
    Pedernales Falls State Park - Observing Field" and approved as amended.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Vice president: Next month’s meeting will be back in ETC. February presentation: Lauren Gonzalez on Astronomical League awards.
    - Outreach: Upcoming events – 1/21: Clayton Elementary School (Austin ISD.) 1/23: Cedar Creek Elementary (Eanes ISD.) 1/25: Monthly public star party at Canyon
    of the Eagles.
    - Member Services: Star Parties at Mansfield Dam are held on the first Monday of each month. A Messier Marathon is being planned, but details have not been
    finalized.

    Old business:
    None

    New business:
    - Members wishing to serve on the nominating committee should contact the president.

    Astronomical League Award Presentations:
    - Outreach Master Level - Dawn Davies
    - Outreach Stellar Level - Lauren Gonzalez

    Presentation: Brian Lippincott - Homemade Dobsonian Mounts

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:02 p.m.
  • 29 Nov 2013 9:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    (The minutes shown below have been amended to reflect a correction made after publication but before approval. Deleted text has been struck through and inserted text has been underlined.)

    The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in the Engineering Teaching Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes from the October meeting were approved as posted to the AAS web site and published in the Sidereal Times.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Vice president: Upcoming presentations – December: Holiday party at Wild Basin (no presentation). January: Brian Lippincott on homemade Dobsonian mounts. February: Lauren Gonzalez on Astronomical League awards.
    - Outreach: Upcoming events –11/5 - Block House Creek Elementary (Leander ISD) - 5th Graders; 11/9 – Cedar Park Center and Austin Country Club; 11/23 - Public Star Party
    - IDA: Darren Spohn introduced himself as the new IDA representative.

    Old business:
    - Holiday party: Wild Basin is renovating its meeting space and will not be able to host our party. We are open for suggestions for venues able to host 40-50 people. Ability to bring food is required; BYOB is preferable.
    - Reimers Ranch update: An observatory is being built at the Travis County facility off of Hamilton Pool Road. They hope do weekly star parties for the public; AAS involvement with those star parties has not been determined yet.

    New business:
    - The society considered a motion from Joyce Lynch to grant Steve Bosbach an honorary lifetime membership in AAS. Ron Carman seconded. The motion carried with no opposition.

    Presentation: Dr. Don Olson & Russell Doescher - Texas State University - 25 Years of Astronomy in Art, History & Literature: A Look Back Bill McDaniel - Pedernales Falls State Park - Observing Field

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:43 p.m.
  • 27 Oct 2013 8:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in the Engineering Teaching Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes from the September meeting were approved as posted to the AAS web site and published in the Sidereal Times.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Vice president: Upcoming presentations – November: Bill McDaniel, ranger of Pedernales Falls State Park, December: Holiday party at Wild Basin (no presentation).
    - Outreach: Upcoming events – 10/12 - International Observe the Moon Night - Central Market 38th Street; 10/26 - Centex (public star party) will include solar viewing and activities for children before dark; 10/26 - Star party at Lockhart State Park; 11/5 - Block House Creek Elementary (Leander ISD) - 5th Graders; 11/9 - Austin Country Club
    - IDA: Steve Bosbach will be stepping down as IDA coordinator for Texas and relocating to Oregon.

    Old business:
    - Merchandise: Ordering will be kept open and an order will be placed with the provider when enough orders have been recieved from the members
    - Canyon of the Eagles: We will be meeting with Calibre (COE Management Company) to work on an agreement

    New business: (none)

    Presentation: Dr. Don Olson & Russell Doescher - Texas State University - 25 Years of Astronomy in Art, History & Literature: A Look Back

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
  • 24 Sep 2013 11:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:33 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in the Engineering Teaching Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes from the August meeting were approved as posted to the AAS web site and published in the Sidereal Times.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Vice president: Upcoming presentations – October: Dr. Don Olson from Texas State University–San Marcos, November: Bill McDaniel, ranger of Pedernales Falls State Park, December: Holiday party at Wild Basin (no presentation). Presenations wanted for 2014undefinedcontact the Vice President if you have an idea for a presentation or wish to give a presentation.
    - Communications: As of yesterday (12 September), AAS satellite internet is now available at the Eagle Eye Observatory at Canyon of the Eagles and the observing field. We are bandwidth limited, so please limit streaming video or large file transfers.
    - Outreach: Upcoming events – 27 September: Round Rock Parks & Rec Campout, 28 September: Public star party at Canyon of the Eagles.
    - Member services: Looking for practical astronomy presenters and topics; Dam star parties on the first Friday of each month.
    - IDA: A new IDA web site will be available soon. IDA is also working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to install full-cutoff lighting at state parks. Pedernales Falls and Lost Maples should be certified as dark sky parks early next year.

    Old business:
    - Merchandise: Eight forms have been received; this is not enough to justify a full order. Deadline is September 15. If enough orders are not received, they will have to wait.

    Announcements and Presentations:
    - Erika Rix was presented with the plaque from the Astronomical League’s Mabel Sterns Newsletter Award for the Sidereal Times. This is the third time AAS has won this award.
    - Show and tell: Susan Silverman from the Westlake Neighborhood Alliance spoke about the group’s efforts to preserve dark skies by limiting light pollution from a proposed Eanes ISD-owned sports facility off of River Hills Road, or prevent its construction.
    - Presentation: Jack Petersen – Hill Country Astronomers – Comets

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
  • 21 Aug 2013 6:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The meeting was called to order at 7:38 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in the Engineering Teaching Center at the University of Texas at Austin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes from the July meeting were approved as posted to the AAS web site and published in the Sidereal Times.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Vice president: Upcoming presentations – September: Josh Petersen from Hill Country Astronomers on comets, November: Bill McDaniel, ranger of Pedernales Falls State Park, October: Dr. Don Olson from Texas State University–San Marcos (tentative), December: Holiday party (no presentation)

    - Outreach: Upcoming event – 10 August: public star party at Canyon of the Eagles
    - Member services: Looking for practical astronomy presenters and topics; Dam star parties on the first Friday of each month

    Old business:
    - The Executive Committee has voted to purchase a separate internet connection at Canyon of the Eagles; installation and the cost of the first year of service will be $850; subsequent years will be $600. Funding is included in the draft budget for the 2014 fiscal year.

    - Merchandise: Forms were available at the meeting and can be found online at austinastro.org; payment is due on delivery

    New business:
    - Budget: The budget for the 2014 fiscal year was approved as proposed by the treasurer on a voice vote.

    Show and tell:
    - Brian Lippincott – LED lighting

    Presentation:
    - David Henderson – AAS Member – Science Awareness and Astronomy

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:06 p.m.

  • 23 Jul 2013 9:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:43 p.m. by President Dawn Davies in the recital hall at St. Stephen’s School. There were 12 members in attendance.

    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: none

    The minutes from the May and June meetings were approved as posted to the AAS web site.

    Officer and Chair reports:
    - Outreach: Upcoming events – 13 July: Austin Spanish First Church, 16 July: Bee Cave Library, 3 August: Star Ranch naturist camp in McDade, 10 August: public star party at Canyon of the Eagles
    - Equipment: Eagle Eye Observatory lock is being replaced, combination will not change; Braking system being worked on Ruoff Observatory; no internet yet at CoE (installation of resort network is “not finished yet”)
    - Member services: Next dam star party first Friday of August (2nd)

    New business: none

    Announcements:
    - Newsletter editor Erica Rix has won an award from the Astronomical League for best newsletter
    - During the presentation, Frank Mikan was presented with a token of our appreciation for his assistance with hosting tonight’s meeting and Austin Under the Stars events

    Presentation: Frank Mikan, St Stephen’s School observatory (following adjournment)

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:56 p.m.
  • 29 Jun 2013 3:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:32pm by President Dawn Davies. There were 29 people in attendance. Introducing themselves as visitors or new members were Amanda and Sam, Domingo, Allison, Kyle, and Sean.

    Dawn explained that Tim Brown, who was elected President in April, had decided that he would be unable to serve due to his new job in Fort Worth, and the Executive Committee had appointed her as President and Joyce Lynch as her replacement in the position of Outreach Chair.

    The minutes of the May 10 meeting were unavailable.

    Vice-President Ron Carman announced that due to final exams at UT, the July 12 meeting will be held at St. Stephen's Episcopal School, in the recital hall, with observing after the meeting, thanks to Frank Mikan.

    Communications Chair Jim Spigelmire asked for volunteers to write the monthly The Sky Tonight column on the website and also to help him check the website for errors and broken links.

    Outreach Chair Joyce Lynch invited everyone to attend Austin Under the Stars the next evening (June 15) at St. Stephen's Episcopal School. She announced that upcoming events will be the COE public star party on July 6 and an event at Bee Cave Public Library on July 16.

    Equipment Chair Darin Koch reported that the plaque for the Forrest telescope at COE is now in place. He mentioned other tasks at the observatory, including using a weedeater on tall grass and lubricating the scopes. He said he is willing to conduct training sessions on the scopes whenever several people indicate that they are interested.

    ALCor Lauren Gonzalez talked about her role in helping members work on Astronomical League observing lists.

    Joyce Lynch was recognized for her two terms as President with the presentation of a lighted cube showing a globular cluster on an inscribed base.

    There being no further business, the program entitled “The Skies of Claude Monet” was presented by Dr. Don Olson and Russell Doescher from Texas State University-San Marcos.

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:00.

    Submitted by Joyce Lynch, substituting for Secretary David Lynch.


  • 10 May 2013 10:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:36 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. There were 15 members in attendance.

    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: none

    Minutes were approved as read by Joyce.

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: We have just under $32,000 now, and we’re just getting ready so send our check to the AL.

    - Communications: none

    - Member services: Members only night tomorrow at COE

    - Equipment: We are looking into getting our own internet connection at COE rather than waiting for the resort.

    - Outreach: Next Saturday the 18th, we have an event 3:30-7:30 at the galaxy highland theater for the opening of Star Trek.  Wild Basin the 19th.  June 1st public night at COE.  June-15th AUTS at St. Stephens

    - IDA: none

    - ALCor: none 

    New business: Joyce presented EC members vacating their positions with certificates.

    Announcements: none

    Presentations: Phil Schmidt’s engineering students – The Improved Observing Chair

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

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