General Assembly Minutes

  • 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
    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.

  • 16 Apr 2013 10:02 PM | Anonymous member

    MINUTES FROM GA MEETING 4.12.13

    The meeting was called to order at 7:34 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 33 individuals in attendance.


    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Roy, Erica, Rob, Holly, Jim

    Minutes were approved as shown. 

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: none 

    - Communications: none

    - Member services: none 

    - Equipment: none

    - Outreach: April – 13th Public party at COE, 17th - Astronomy night at St. Edwards, 26th- Moonlighting at Wild Basin.  May – 2nd Mills Elementary School, 5th – Austin Mini Maker Faire. June-15th AUTS at St. Stephens, 25th or 27th – Goddard School 

    - IDA: none

    - ALCor: none

    New business: Election of officers

    President – Tim Brown
    VP – Ron Carman

    Secretary – David Lynch
    Treasurer – Mark Lyon
    Communications – Jim Spigelmire
    Outreach – Dawn Davies

    Equipment – Darin Koch

    Member Services – Jim Linn

    Members at Large – Vic Ellisor, Mike Krzywonski, Terry Phillips

    The entire slate of officers recommended by the nominating committee was approved.

    Announcements: The meeting next month is at Wild Basin. 

    Presentation: Dawn Davies - Constellations

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

  • 09 Mar 2013 11:53 AM | Anonymous member
    The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 37 individuals in attendance. 

    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Stephan, Emily (UT students)

    Motion to approve minutes was made by Tim Brown, seconded by Mike Krzywonski

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: We have about $33,000; let Mark know if you are interested in joining.  Stay tuned for more info about the solar scope loaning program.

    - Communications: The files section of the website should be available soon, so various materials/presentations will be available then. 

    - Member services: The first Friday of each month are our Dam Star Parties.  Announcements (and weather cancellations) will be made in advance.  Messier marathon for tomorrow is cancelled, but we’re going to try again on the 16th. We are going to award certificates for achievements in the marathon. Erika has some sketching templates available for it as well.

    - Equipment: There are some new lights for the path at COE.  Phil Schmidt stated that we should have lights to point out the exit for public nights

    - Outreach: March- SXSW with UT tonight and tomorrow night, March 23rd is Earth Hour (7-10pm at city hall); April -Meridian Charter 6th, Public party at COE 13; AUTS June 15th at St. Stephens (backup date the 29th).  Merchandise forms will hopefully be available this week on the website.

    - IDA: no report

    - ALCor: John Huntsberger earned his Messier certificate.

    New business: none 

    Announcements:

    CTSP is the April 5-7 event at COE.  We will be rededicating the Ealing telescope as the Larry Forrest telescope.  We will also be dedicating a new observatory/telescopes donated by member Fred Ruof.  If you are coming to the BBQ on Saturday evening, you will be able pay on the website.

    Presentation:  Kim Van Camp – “Life and Accomplishments of William Herschel”

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

  • 08 Feb 2013 11:23 PM | Anonymous member

    MINUTES FROM GA MEETING 2.8.13

    The meeting was called to order at 7:45 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 42 individuals in attendance.

    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Tom and Kathy, Steve Hill, Sarah, Tara

    Motion to approve minutes was made by Mike Krzywonski, seconded by Mark Lyon

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: We have roughly $32,000.  Anyone wanting to join can see Mark after the meeting.

    - Member services: We will have another dam star parting coming up and more practical astronomy meetings coming up.  If you have any topics you’d like to know more about for the practical astronomy meetings, let Tim know. Next month is March, and we are planning to have a Messier marathon. We will have it at the private star party on the 9th, and we will have a backup date for the 16th as well.

    - Communications: The new Facebook group is going well.  It is not meant to replace the Yahoo! group, but it will help us to reach a wider group of people, so thanks to Tara for helping to get this going. 

    - Equipment: none

    - Outreach: February- 9th at Blanco State Park (rain or shine), Barton Hills the 15th, Meridian Charter the 23rd, Deer Creek 26th. March- 2nd COE public party, 3rd at Wild Basin. 8-10th at SXSW with UT, March 23rd is Earth Hour, and we will be working with the planetarium people and Steve Bosbach (our IDA representative) on that event.

    - IDA: Steve is presenting tonight, and will speak later.

    - ALCor: Alan Carruth earned his binocular Messier certificate.

    New business: Loaner scope program- Mark Lyon made a motion to buy two additional scopes (up to $1200 each) to add to our loaner program.  Ron Carman seconded the motion. Motion passed.

    Announcements:

    --A form will be on the website in about another week or so regarding our new merchandise. We will place orders biannually.  Prices may vary some based on order numbers. 

    --The nominating committee (Jim Linn, Ross Clark, and Alan Carruth) will be collecting information on those interested in running for office.  The slate must be set by the March meeting, and the election will be at the April meeting. 

    --CTSP is the April 5-7 event at COE.  We will be rededicating the Ealing telescope as the Larry Forrest telescope.  We will also be dedicating a new observatory/telescopes donated by member Fred Ruof. 

     
    Presentation:
     Steve Bosbach, IDA representative 

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

  • 11 Jan 2013 11:34 PM | Anonymous member

    MINUTES FROM GA MEETING 1.11.13

    The meeting was called to order at 7:36 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 42 individuals in attendance.

     

    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Roger, Holly Prosser, Meredith Gray, Don and June Miles, Burton Anderson, David, Brian, and Brian 

    Motion to approve minutes was made by Jim Spigelmire, seconded by Mark Lyon

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: I am the person to take your money, and also the person to talk to if you are interested in a loaner scope.  I also have two RASC handbooks left over from 2012 last year; $5- See Mark if you are interested.

    - Member services: We’re going to have a meeting, and Ill put a notice out soon.  We are trying to come up with things club members would like to do. 

    - Communications: no update, but we may have big news next month.  Check out austinastro.org for all kinds of things we have on the website. 

    - Equipment: no report 

    - Outreach: January events: Lockhart state park the 18th, Allison Elementary the 24th, Jan 27 Wild Basin moonlighting, Jan 31 Great Oaks Elementary. February events: Feb 1 COE Public Star Party.  The new outreach event protocol is that you will be provided a point of contact if you are interested in participating.  March 23rd is Earth Hour, and we will be working with the planetarium people and Steve Bosbach (our IDA representative) on that event.  We are looking at April for the spring AUTS.

    - ALCor: no report

    - IDA: no report, but Steve will be doing the program next month 

    New business: none

    Announcements: none 

    Presentation:  Jesse Huth, student at Texas A&M, on his studies and work at the A&M observatory.

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:33 p.m.

  • 29 Dec 2012 10:53 PM | Anonymous member

    There were over 50 members in attendance at the holiday party.


    Outreach: Dawn Davies presented David Ault and Bob VanGulick with astrophotography awards and Erika Rix with the New Member of the Year award.

    ALCOR: Jack Estes presented Steve Bosbach with the Local Galaxy Groups and Neighbrhood award and Lauren Rogers with her Binocular Messier award.

    Phil Schmidt & John Huntsberger (The Visual Binaries) entertained with wonderful music.  Thanks to everyone who helped to plan this wonderful event!

  • 09 Nov 2012 11:03 PM | Anonymous member

    The meeting was called to order at 7:42 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 28 individuals in attendance.


    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Earl Alexander, Marsha McGinnis, Preston Hubert, Adrian, Marvin Johnson, Mark Nelson (Dawn’s dad), Tony Muller

    Motion to approve minutes was made by Mike Krzywonski, seconded by Jim Spigelmire

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: If you haven’t paid your dues, it is time!

    - Equipment: Darin is at COE this evening, but we are working on the lighting at the observatory site concerning safety measures. 

    - Outreach: November events: Nov 10 Members-Only Star Party, Nov 11 Stargazing at Wild Basin, Nov 15 Pond Springs Elementary, Nov 17 COE Public Star Party. December events: Dec 5 Fulmore Middle school, Dec 07 Lockhart State Park, Dec 08 Members-Only Star Party, Dec 14 Austin Astronomical Society's Holiday Party (please RSVP to the evite, and see Dawn if you didn’t get one; the party is pot-luck at Wild Basin), Dec 15 COE Public Star Party, Dec 18 Spring Hill Elementary.  January events: Jan 5th COE Public Star Party, Jan 27 Wild Basin moonlighting, Jan 31 Great Oaks Elementary. February events: Feb 2 COE Public Star Party, Feb 7 Wild Basin star party, Feb 26 Deer Creek Elementary.

    - Member services: We’ve started the dam star parties again (first Friday of every month, weather permitting), and we are planning additional social opportunities.  There is a member services committee form you can fill out online, and we’ll be sending out some email messages as well. Thanks to Erika for tonight’s practical astronomy presentation.

    - Communications: no update, but we may have big news next month.

    - ALCor: no report

    - IDA: Steve Bosbach is at the IDA conference this week.  He is making a report about the work he is doing with the state parks in efforts to make them dark sky sites.

    New business: Torvald Hessel and Lucia are here from the Austin Planetarium.  AAS had a fundraiser as a memorial for Larry Forrest and raised $2830.75 for the planetarium.  The AP are presenting to the NASA grant consortium next week.

    New merchandise: hooded sweatshirts, polo shirts and t-shirts, stainless steel water bottles, 6 pack coolers.  Hopefully a form will be online for taking orders within the next week.  RASC book orders can also be placed on the website; orders need to be placed by the first week in December.

    Announcements: none

    Presentation:  Erika Rix- Astronomical Sketching

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:12 p.m.

  • 12 Oct 2012 10:50 PM | Anonymous member

    The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 21 individuals in attendance.

    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Marvin Johnson, Dharini, Joyce Kraft

    Motion to approve minutes was made by Kelley Knight, seconded by Dawn Davies

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: For the monthly report, see the newsletter.  Make sure you have renewed your membership; membership dues were due Sept 1.

    - Equipment: Darin purchased a 52” screen (with smoke screen) for the observatory to use with outreach.  They will install it tomorrow.

    - Outreach: CenTex scout event was last week. Tomorrow is the McKinney Falls star party (if the skies are clear).  Westwood High School is next week.   Next month: Wild Basin the 11th, Pond Springs Elementary the 15th, public night the 17th.  Holiday party 12/14, potluck at Wild Basin.

    - Member services: We had our first meeting last week.  We would like to have more practical astronomy meetings and also workshop oriented meetings before the members only nights.  Hopefully the dam star parties will be up and going again soon.

    - Communications: We will have a member services page up on the website now.  Check here for information about events.  Reimer Ranch will have another observing location set up soon, by around the first of the year.

    - ALCor:  Erika Rix has earned her Outreach award.  Erika will be doing our program next month about astronomical sketching.

    - IDA: none

    New business: none

    Announcements: We are winding up the fundraising campaign for the Planetarium.  We will continue to accept donations, but we will be stopping the formal fundraising for the Larry Forrest drive.  As of this afternoon, we have raised $2900.  Torvald Hessel announced that when they start building the planetarium, Larry’s ashes will be contained in the cornerstone.

    Presentation:  Paul Wieland- “Crossing the Threshold: The Case for the Increased Exploration of Space”  His Book: Crossing the Threshold.

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

  • 16 Sep 2012 10:10 PM | Anonymous member

    MINUTES FROM GA MEETING 9.14.12

    The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. by President Joyce Lynch. A quorum was present. There were 32 individuals in attendance.


    The following were introduced as new members, returning members and visitors: Bruce Nailer, Paula Jakobs

    Motion to approve minutes was made by Mike Krzywonski, seconded by Tim Brown.

    Officer and Chair reports:

    - Treasurer: The new membership year started September 1.  Please go to the website to renew.  If you would prefer to send a check to the P.O. box, that option is still available.  People who have not renewed will start being taken off the list in a couple months.  Magazine subscriptions no longer go through the AAS, but you can still renew on the website.

    - Communications: We hope you’re enjoying the new newsletter.  If you have information you’d like to share, please contact Erika Rix.

    - Member services: The newly forming member services committee will be meeting week after next.  If you would like to be involved or have any ideas, contact Tim via email.

    - Equipment: We are looking to purchase a large flat-screen TV for the observatory to use on cloudy nights or when there are long lines.  The COE resort who sends us many of our visitors on public nights is helping us to raise money for this.   Sharleen Forrest sent the AAS a $500 check in memory of Larry, and she wants it to be used for equipment.  The remaining amount, if any, would come from the AAS budget.

    - Outreach: Women in science afternoon at the Wildflower center on the 23rd, the 28th is the next Wild Basin event, and the 6th of October is CenTex (with an emphasis on scouting).  The evening of the 6th will also include a dedication of the new building and scopes from Fred Ruof and a renaming of the Ealing scope, should the motion to occur later in the meeting pass.

    - ALCor: Erika Rix has earned the outreach award, and Lauren Rogers has submitted her binocular Messier AL observations. 

    - IDA: We have been coordinating with other IDA members and presented to some members of Texas Parks and Wildlife.  They will be able to take lighting surveys, make recommendations, and hopefully be able to start these parks on the track for certification as a “Dark Sky Park.”  We’re concentrating on four near Austin now, then would like to branch out.  Texas does not have any parks with this designation at this time.   

    New business: Renaming of the Ealing telescope.  There has been a recommendation that the Ealing be renamed in Larry Forrest’s memory. Ron Carman made the motion, and it was seconded by Steve Bosbach.  Larry specifically asked that the observatory not be named for him but was OK with the scope’s name being changed for him.  The person who donated the Ealing has asked specifically to remain anonymous and does not want the scope named for them. Larry was instrumental in getting the scope refurbished for the AAS, getting the observatory built, and getting the Ealing set up.  The motion carried.

    Announcements: Last year the AAS donated $1000 (for a corporate membership) to the Austin Planetarium out of our budget to support their efforts.  It was not a unanimous vote.  This year, the EC has tried to find a way to make it possible to continue to contribute without taking such a large amount from the general fund.  The EC will set up a fund to allow members who wish to contribute in the name of the AAS to do so without taking money from the general fund.  There has also been an offer from a group of anonymous AAS members who are willing to match donations given to this fund, up to $1000. "Kelley Knight made a motion to collect donations from club members toward a $1000 corporate membership in the Austin Planetarium in memory of Larry Forrest, with the funds raised by the October 12 GA meeting, up to $1000, to be matched by anonymous donors." Steve Bosbach suggested that the fund drive be called the Larry Forrest Memorial Fund Drive.  The drive would run for one month.  Don Behrman seconded the motion. The motion carried.

    Presentation:  Taylor Chonis- “Instrumentation for HETDEX (Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy experiment): How to Discover One Million Galaxies in 150 Nights”

    There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:27 p.m.

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