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Ambassador Program

Who are AAVSO Ambassadors?

Undergraduate and graduate students and young individuals:

  • excited about astronomy and the Universe
  • knowledgeable of scientific data and their indications
  • passionate about science education
  • committed to building a diverse community of citizen scientists
  • actively participating as AAVSO members

Superstars today—leaders in the future

YOU can be part of our teamjoin us!

The AAVSO Ambassadors represent the AAVSO through various activities, including but not limited to, outreach talks about astronomy and variable stars to schools, clubs, and communities; participating in public engagement events such as star parties and sidewalk astronomy; acquiring or analyzing data; participating in specific research projects; giving presentations on variable stars in conferences; maintaining an astro-blog with news; astrophotography; and mentoring.

As an AAVSO Ambassador, you are expected to:

  • engage in at least 3 events/activities per year
  • tell us of your activities and their outcomes
  • respectfully interact with other members through forums, blogs, social media, or in-person activities
  • actively participate as an AAVSO member


Please contact Lindsay Ward at

Ambassador Leaders—Director's Circle

Molly Wakeling

Melanie Crowson


I am currently a PhD student in physics at UC Berkeley, with a specific interest in nuclear astrophysics. I got my first telescope in 2015, and after seeing how incredible Saturn was in it, quickly figured out how to do astrophotography so that I could share its beauty with others!  From there I dove pretty deep into astrophotography, which has been an ever-evolving adventure of new equipment, software, and techniques. I share those images, and do as much public outreach as I can!  I am also a Girl Scout leader for middle school- and high school-age girls, and have been a Girl Scout for over 20 years.


Currently a graduate student in astronomy at American Public University, I began my journey into the sciences as a curious-minded child who reached for every book on space that I could find, culminating in the telescope that I built with my father in high school. I have since been a planetarium operator and mathematics tutor, and I lead several astronomy outreach events for my community. I serve as Vice Chair on the SEDS USA national board (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space), and am working on RR Lyrae variable star research and supernova hunting projects.


Ana Veronica Parra


I am an astrophysics major whose experience ranges from research in different astronomical fields to writing technical reports and publishing my work in peer-reviewed journals. My previous professional experience includes tutoring astronomy, being a Research Advisor and Mentor at Boyce Research Initiatives and Education Foundation (B.R.I.E.F.), Head of Communications and Outreach with NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Ambassador (volunteer position), an undergraduate researcher at the National Solar Observatory, and a STEM Community Scholar at San Diego Mesa College.


I am a Translational Research Associate Scientist at an oncology company in San Diego, and a part-time community college student pursuing a higher education in Astrophysics. I also spend time attending social/environmental justice movements, art/music camping festivals, and astronomy events. At home, I enjoy cooking/baking vegan food, playing board games with my family and friends, and researching exoplanets. I am currently learning how to compost, be a crew member of a sailboat, and use my personal telescope. I reside in San Diego with my cousin Andrea and our many house plants.

Heather Laird



I still see myself as a beginner in amateur astronomy with an interest in astrophysics, theoretical physics, and history; hoping and intending to continue studies in those areas either as an amateur or a student. I began volunteering in the Canadian amateur astronomy community on a local level in Calgary, Alberta in 2013, and later on a national level until the end of 2019. (I served as a National Council Representative for RASC Calgary Centre from 2013–2016, and as RASC National Director from 2015 to the end of 2019. I served on many committees, as well as Chaired the society's first Fundraising Committee.) Other than bombarding my mind with all things related to the Universe, I am a lover of boardgames and cats; I also enjoy painting, writing, reading, photography, hiking, music, and spending time with friends and family.


Meet our newest ambassadors:


Skylar Larsen--California, United States: My astro jounrey started with the Boyce Astro organization, where I published papers with the Journal of Double Star Observations and the Society for Astronomical Sciences. I have since mentored students at the organization, who have published papers themselves. I am an undergrad at MIT studying planetary science and astronomy. I am interested in astrophotography, exoplanets, double stars, astrochemistry, astrobiology, and all other aspects of astronomy!

Krishna Acharya--Iowa, United States: I am pursuing my BSME at St. Ambrose University in Iowa, and am  originally from Nepal. Even though I'm an engineering student, I have been doing research in astronomy for 3 years. I aim to help my community in Nepal learn more about astronomy through public outreach events.

Christopher Colvin--Minnesota, United States: I have been into astronomy since I was 12 years old, and purchased my first telescope at 18. Through astronomical data collection projects, I have contributed over ten thousand data points to scientific research. I have been an AAVSO member since 2016, and began contributing observations via the AAVSONET telescope array while away from home, but will use my own scopes, cameras, and charts when I get back. With my volunteer work, I believe I have an excellent opportunity to tie in AAVSO with NASA science and missions. I am a degreed meteorologist and environmental scientist, but by night I am a passionate amateur astronomer and citizen scientist. I am extremely passionate about the work AAVSO does and believe that as a young(ish) member, I can play a role in securing the future of AAVSO and variable star astronomy for amateurs around the world. 

Devanshu Jha--Karnataka, India: I am very passionate about science related to space and radio technology. I am a member of citizen science projects, including NASA and ESA projects. I am also a member of IASC and SOHO project groups, and discovered 16 main-belt asteroids, 2 of which received provisional status. In college, I enjoyed astro club activities.

Christian Singleton--New York, United States: I have been doing astronomy research for two years and definitely want to pursue a PhD in something astro related! I work remotely with the Grand Mesa Observatory to take my own data/measurements, and use the AAVSO Variable Star Index in my current project. I also participate in the astronomical viewings of the SPS chapter that I am a vice president of. 

Aakaash Narayan--Telangana, India: I have a strong passion and dedication for astronomy and astrophysics--I have been working in the field for 10 years, and am pursuing my PhD in Stellar Astrophysics and Astronomy. I am a member of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in translation group for Hindi language. I work for an astronomy outreach program for students who are in financial need. Even I don't have telescope, but I am working towards incorporating them into students' astronomy studies. At night, I gather people and explain about constellations. I have also gathered many stars' information; among one of them is alpha square CVn's.


Want to be involved?

Please contact Lindsay Ward at


By joining the AAVSO Ambassador program, you agree to abide by the policies of the AAVSO.

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484