General Assembly Minutes

  • 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
    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!

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