General Assembly Minutes

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  • 01 Jun 2014 12:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The meeting was called to order at 8:04 PM at the observing field at Pedernales Falls State Park. A quorum was present.

    The minutes of the April 11 meeting were approved as published in the Sidereal Times.

    OFFICER REPORTS

    Vice President: Upcoming presentations for the June, July, and August GA meetings were announced.

    Outreach: The next event is the public star party on May 31 at Canyon of the Eagles.

    Communications: After an outage earlier in the week, the web site is back online.

    No business was conducted.

    The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM
  • 30 Apr 2014 11:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The meeting was called to order at 7:43 in ECJ on the campus of UT-Austin. A quorum was present.

    The minutes of the March 14 meeting were approved.

    OFFICE REPORTS

    Vice President: The May 9th meeting will be at Pedernales Falls State Park, on the new observing field near the bird blind. Entry fees will be waived. Stargazing will be possible after the meeting. Bring a picnic supper.

    Treasurer: Partial-year memberships are pro-rated if you sign up via the web site.

    Outreach: Upcoming events include the monthly star party at Canyon of the Eagles on April 19, Nerdstravaganza at Art.Science.Gallery on Springdale Road on April 22, Buescher State Park on May 3, and solar observing at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on May 4.

    Equipment: Six tabletops have been replaced. One of the cabinets in the observatory has been sealed due to a rat infestation. We are researching a new weather station. The ropes on the block and tackle system on the observatory roof are fifteen years old and need to be replaced.

    Member services: Prior to the May meeting, a roundtable on the Texas Star Party will be held in place of a practical astronomy session.

    OLD BUSINESS

    Merchandise: Existing merchandise orders are still held, and we are attempting another round. People who submitted orders previously will be contacted to confirm whether they wish to change their orders.

    NEW BUSINESS

    Officer elections: There were no additional nominations from the floor for any position. The following were elected:

    President: Dawn Davies
    Vice President: Terry Phillips
    Secretary: David Lynch
    Treasurer: Mark Lyon
    Member Services: Tim Brown
    Equipment: James Hall
    Communications: Darron Spohn
    Members-at-large: Alan Carruth, David Mathias, Jim Spigelmire
    Outreach: Larry Martin

    25" Dobsonian Telescope: The Executive Committee brought a proposal to purchase a 25" F/3.85 Dobsonian telescope formerly owned by member Larry Forrest, who passed away in 2013. The proposed purchase price from his widow Charlene is $8,500; a new telescope with a similar aperture and similar features would be approximately $15,000. Additional expenses would include Argo Navis and Servocat (est. $2,500), a rolling platform ladder (est. $600) and eyepieces (est. $1,500), for a total estimated budget of $13,100. A motion to purchase the telescope and accessories was made by Kelly Knight and seconded by Darin Koch. The motion passed by show of hands.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS AND AWARDS

    Central Texas Star Party will be April 25-26 and is open to members and their guests only. Friday night includes a potluck. Observatory and solar scope trainings will be held on Saturday beginning at about 5:00. On Saturday evening, BBQ will be provided for $5 per person paid in advance.

    Astronomical League Correspondent (ALCor): Tara Emerson received the Sky Puppy award. Mark Johnston received the Herschel 400 and Master Observer awards.

    Presentation: Jeff Silverman from the University of Texas at Austin on "Exploding Stars, Dark Energy, and the Runaway Universe."

    The meeting was adjourned at 9:58 PM.
  • 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.
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